Well to update you firstly on the Dranes. We now have heating thank goodness. Delighted to report that Wilsons the plumbers came out yesterday afternoon and fixed out burst pipe and got the heating running again. Very grateful to John Wilson and his colleague for getting us going again. So good to have heating again especially as it’s snowing again.
Reflected that in the past few years have cut back on so many things but heating and a roof over you head is one that you take for granted and you don’t realise how lucky you are to have these vital things until you don’t have them.
As President of the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce I am very aware of the impact that the current economy is having on businesses across all sectors and the recent weather is just a further blow for many as business is lost via this recent cold snap.
This is particularly true for retailers. Most retailers would admit that they are facing a very tough first quarter of 2011 as consumers pull in spending after Christmas and with the rise in vat to 20%. It is imperative therefore that retailers have a good December and could have done without this sudden cold snap which does not seem to be coming to an end anytime soon.
A result of the current economy is that people have been more conscious of what they spend and where they spend the money. I must admit I would rather spend my money with a local Borders business than give it to a big corporate company and in doing so I have realised that you can become much more individual too. I have for the first time not shopped on the web this year but supported local business and hope to do the majority of my shopping in the Scottish Borders.
One of the key things that came out of research that was carried out when I worked for the Scottish Borders Tourist Board was that a key selling point of the area was that the shops were in the main individual shops which gave the visitor the chance to see things not found in many UK high streets where all the main branded shops are. This is still true despite the glux of supermarkets moving into the area. Our independent shops are a unique selling point of the Scottish Borders but will only be so if locals support these shops so that we and visitors can continue to enjoy the unique shops that we have.
So I would urge people living in the Scottish Borders to shop locally as much as possible this Christmas support your local Butcher get your Turkey,Goose or Capon there. Buy from your local fruit and veg shop and bakers for some of the other items that you need and enjoy shopping in our local book, gift, shoe and clothes shop to find gifts for your loved ones.
If you don’t live here I would urge you too to shop in your local area and support your local independent retailers. But please consider visiting the Scottish Borders for a day trip, short break or holiday and enjoy shopping in our fantastic independent shops. And remember SHOP LOCAL THIS CHRISTMAS.