Campaigns have been launched to support Angus and Perth firms through the crucial festive trading period.
Around £750 million is expected to be spent on online Black Friday promotions in the UK today – but shopped are being urged to also think about supporting Tayside businesses.
Keep festive spend in local economy
Alison Henderson, chief executive of DACC, said many local firms had struggled this year.
She said: “There are hundreds of small businesses who really need our support.
“Rather than spending money this Black Friday with the big retailers, there are bargains and offers to be had on our doorstep.
“The resilience, tenacity and creativity we’ve seen from independent traders has been truly inspirational.
“So many have adapted their business, product lines and services to ensure a local shopping experience for their customers.
“We’re calling on shoppers to keep their festive spend in the local economy, whether that’s at farmers’ markets, websites or physically going along to the shops.”
Innovative approach by Angus firms
As well as extending opening hours and creating a delivery service, many retailers have increased or launched their online shopping options.
Redcastle Gin is offering Facetime shopping appointments in the run-up to Christmas.
Backing the campaign, Jim Wight, owner of Montrose-based outdoor activity provider Sup2summit, said: “More people enjoying the great outdoors has been one of the good things to come out of 2020.
“Spending with small, independent businesses this Christmas, whether on a tangible gift or a gift voucher, is a killer combination – it supports the local economy rather than the multinational chains, while also finding original gifts that aren’t mass produced.”
Perth and Crieff gift cards
Meanwhile, Perthshire firms are being encouraged to reward staff with the Perth and Crieff gift cards, which can only be spent in the local areas.
Vicki Unite, chief executive of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Our businesses are facing extremely challenging trading conditions and initiatives such as the gift card programme, which ensures that spend is kept local and supports these local businesses, is warmly welcomed.
“We would encourage anyone who can to shop local and help our companies through these tough times.”
Graham Donaldson, chairman of Crieff Succeeds, said: “There is increased awareness of the importance of town centres and the role the local community can play in making them resilient and successful.
“The gift card, keeping local money in the local economy, is a proven way of doing this.”
Valuing staff and supporting local
Managing director George Stubbs said: “Traditionally, we have always had a big Christmas event for our staff as a ‘thank you’ for their hard work. It’s great for team spirit and morale.
“Obviously, this year we are unable to do that, so we thought giving Perth Gift Cards would be a nice gesture to our valued staff as well as supporting local businesses.”