With physically distant shopping and home deliveries on the rise, hundreds of Capital-based businesses in Edinburgh are reinventing the way they trade during lockdown.
Local gyms are offering virtual keep-fit classes, independent bars and restaurants are delivering to our doors, and small businesses and social enterprises are ramping up their abilities to work remotely.
With more options becoming available for safe shopping - and helpful directories like Localburgh, the Edinburgh Lockdown Economy, Locally and Edinburgh Social Enterprise providing up to the minute information on those who are open for business - we're calling on residents to support local high streets where they can.
Council Leader, Adam McVey, said: "Life during lockdown doesn't mean we can't enjoy or support our local high streets and there are now so many ways we can back the Edinburgh businesses we know and love. If you want your favourite places to still be there for you when the outbreak is over, please be there for them now.
"Where I live in Leith, there are dozens of incredible bakeries, bars, cafes and gift shops offering safe ways to collect products for those who are able to visit in person. For those of us at home, we don't need to rely on multinational companies to deliver what we need. So please, if you're lucky enough to be able to help, take a look at the diverse options on offer and stay loyal to local."
Depute Leader, Cammy Day, said: "Edinburgh has one of the best local business communities in the world and this is the most challenging time these companies will ever go through.
"As a Council, we have been doing all we can to provide advice and business rates support during these difficult days. We've paid out £70m in coronavirus business support grants so far to around 5,400 businesses and our Business Gateway service is here with expert support and guidance.
"But we all need to work together to support each other and our communities right now. If you aren't able to financially support a business, why not leave a positive review or drop your favourite places an encouraging email of support and solidarity."
Garry Clark, the East of Scotland Development Officer for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “Shopping locally, online or otherwise, has been a firm feature of lockdown and is likely to remain with us for some time to come. Small local shops are ideally placed for the increasing number of people staying at home right now and there is huge potential for this to become part of our lives when the lockdown process eventually begins to unwind. Supporting local businesses has never been more important but it has never been easier either.”
Claire Pattullo, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Social Enterprise, said: "Social Enterprises rely on trade rather than grants or charitable donations to support their social benefits and they are being particularly hard hit at this time. Please make a conscious choice to support Edinburgh's Social Enterprise sector and help protect the vital services they provide and that are even more in demand than ever."
Edinburgh has a diverse Social Enterprise sector selling goods and services ranging from bespoke handmade furniture to recycled bikes, venue spaces and mental health first aid training. All profits support their social benefits, such as homelessness; training and employment, and at the moment making sure vulnerable individuals have access to food and relief from the effects of isolation. When you buy from a member of Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network or where you see the Buy The Good Stuff logo, you are supporting social good.