A £50,000 budget to help save Perthshire businesses has been approved.
The Shop Local and Independent initiative was given the green light by Perth and Kinross Council’s City Centre Action Group.
The group – comprised of councillors and business representatives – made the decision following the cancellation of the City of Perth Winter Festival in August.
£45,000 from the council budget was put towards supporting local retailers.
The Scotland Lovel Local organisation – which aims to encourage Scots to support and shop on their local High Streets – provided additional funding of £5,000.
More than 150 small businesses are involved in the campaign by listing gift ideas and appearing in short videos.
Council leader, Murray Lyle – who chairs the City Centre Action Group – hopes the campaign will encourage Perthshire residents to shop locally, especially in the lead-up to Christmas.
“It has been a tough year for many local businesses across Perth and Kinross”, he said.
“This gift guide is a fantastic showcase of some of the unique, independent retailers we have and the wonderful products they sell.
“I understand the ease and convenience of using online shops, and for some people that might be their only option this year.
“However, if you are able to get out and do your Christmas shopping then I would encourage you to pick up a gift guide and visit your local shops.”
He added: “Perth and Kinross is known for its independent businesses and by visiting them and shopping local we can all help them have a positive end to the year.”
Shaped by direct business feedback, the campaign was put together in line with the Economic Wellbeing Plan for Perth and Kinross.
Co-Chairperson of the Perth Traders’ Association, Dawn Fuge – who owns an independent shop in the city centre – believes the initiative is “hugely encouraging”.
She said: “This is undoubtedly one of the most challenging festive periods small businesses have ever had to face, particularly independent retailers and the hospitality sector.
“It has been hugely encouraging therefore to have the support of this vibrant ‘Shop Local’ campaign for the city centre and surrounding towns.
“The gift guide clearly shows that Perth is still very much alive with quality, independent shops who would love to help our local Perth and Kinross residents find a beautiful Christmas gift.
“I am hopeful that this is the start of a positive narrative around Perth, and a strong private-public partnership that will see us build a resilient recovery.”