Team South of Scotland welcomes Level 1 Announcement and encourages shopping locally and safely

Team South of Scotland has welcomed the news that the region will move from Level Two to Level One on Friday 11 December at 6pm - and is reminding residents to do what they can to support the local economy.

‘Shop local and safely to support local businesses’ is the message from both D&G Council, SBC and South of Scotland Enterprise – who have been working closely to help the region recover from pandemic.

The region has been in level two since the system was introduced in November, but thanks to falling case numbers, the decision has been made to move the region in to the ‘medium risk’ alert level.

Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) Professor Russel Griggs OBE said:

“I am delighted that as result of sacrifices over recent weeks by local people and businesses, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders can look forward to moving into Level 1 this weekend.

This should allow many businesses to re-open ahead of the festive season and, hopefully, recoup some of the revenues lost in what has traditionally been the most profitable part of the year.

The pandemic has brought great uncertainty for businesses and the people they employ. I would continue to encourage people to shop locally – and safely - to support their high street. Every purchase we make, every item we buy, is a shop helped and a job supported. “

As the Enterprise Agency for the South of Scotland, we are fully committed to supporting local businesses as they continue to recover from the pandemic, reopen their doors and welcome back customers safely.”

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Regeneration and Finance, said:

“The move into Level 1 comes as very welcome news to us all.  It is encouraging that we can once again, support the hospitality, leisure, entertainment and retail sector.

“We have all worked together to suppress the spread of the virus here in the South of Scotland, and it is more important than ever that we continue to look out for each other, and support local businesses get back on their feet.

“In the Scottish Borders, we have suspended all pay and display car parking charges across the area throughout the festive season, to encourage use of our excellent local shops.

“We can see the impact of Coronavirus on our town centres and local businesses, and we must support them at this time. We would like to encourage Borderers to shop local, eat local and support their town centres which, despite the challenges faced this year, still offer a wide breath of businesses offering quality local products. We can all make a difference this Christmas.”

Depute Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Rob Davidson, said:

“This is fantastic news for Dumfries & Galloway. Our local businesses and venues will now be able to remain open, provided they can demonstrate they are following COVID guidelines.

Small businesses across the region have felt the impact of coronavirus, and shopping or dining out locally is one of the best ways we can help our local economy, local jobs, and our community.

With Christmas just around the corner, and the huge impact of Covid-19 on small businesses, I’d continue to urge everyone in their local community to spend a little extra in their own town.

This year in particular, let’s think a little harder about how we can support local hospitality and leisure venues. And let’s continue to think about where we are buying gifts from, as it could be the difference between a local business closing or staying open long term."