Hopes are high for ‘jingle tills’

Shop local and support small businesses in your communities - that’s the plea to shoppers in the countdown to Christmas.

Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and regeneration, is urging people to support East Dunbartonshire businesses - particularly during December.

He said: “It’s important we do all we can to support the local economy in these challenging financial times by shopping with local, independent retailers wherever and whenever possible.

“You will be amazed at the excellent choice of retailers, businesses and hostelries on your doorstep.

“The council is working hard with partners in the public and private sector - such as Business Gateway - to support businesses of all sizes.”

A good example of innovative work involving the public and private sector is the Milngavie BID initiative - where firms voted for the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) in the town earlier this year.

Members of the council’s economic development team worked hard to support the BID Steering Group - with the authority agreeing to contribute more than £150,000 over the five-year period of their business plan - aimed at improving the town centre, supporting businesses and protecting jobs.

Milngavie has already begun to reap the benefits, with BID organising a host of events and initiatives - for example, to attract people to the town centre in the run-up to Christmas.

Kirkintilloch Town Centre Masterplan is also taking shape - with a positive impact on the town centre - while efforts continue to support Bishopbriggs and Bearsden.

Councillor Moir added: “I hope as many people as possible take the chance to support businesses in their communities this year, but please remember it’s not just for Christmas - they need our support throughout the year to ensure they survive and thrive.”