Living Lerwick will launch a month-long campaign on Friday to highlight the benefits of using local goods and services in the lead up to the main Christmas Shopping month.

Research by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies has identified that for every £1 spent locally, 50-70p remains within the local economy. Whereas, £1 spent online, may see only 5p value remain locally. This has a significant impact on the local economy of a small community like Shetland, where low unemployment and a good quality of life are something we have come to expect.

During November, a number of events and activities are being offered by Living Lerwick, and town centre businesses in an effort to remind people to ‘Think Local First’.

The first of these is the launch of the town centre app: Discover Lerwick. Drop in to the VisitScotland Centre at the Market Cross on Monday 4th November from 2-4pm to hear about the app and discover lots of things you didn’t know about Lerwick town centre!

Scotland’s Town’s Week is a national event running from 18th to 24th November to celebrate Scotland’s towns. During this week, Living Lerwick are running a photo competition seeking images of people’s favourite things in the town centre. A £50 town centre voucher is up for grabs to the winner and details on how to enter are on the website at www.livinglerwick.co.uk/events.

Living Lerwick Chairman, Steve Mathieson, said “Commercial Street and the surrounding area is home to a wealth of independent local shops, businesses, cafes, bars and amenities. This month, we invite everyone to think local first before they look online for goods and services.”

Buying locally has a number of benefits: It saves money on delivery costs or returns; reduces the environmental impact of transport and packaging; includes a friendly and knowledgeable interaction with sales staff and keeps jobs, businesses and our community thriving.

Local businesses buy materials, produce and services from other local businesses. The purchase you make today has a much wider local benefit than the £6 spent on lunch. Most local outlets will source the bread, milk, meat or fish in your lunch from another local supplier who employs staff and purchases trade services from other local suppliers. This applies to locally produced goods and services too. Whatever you are looking for, think local first.

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