Stirling’s Business Improvement District is supporting the city’s shops and eateries with a colourful `We’re Open’ poster campaign.
As Stirling businesses reopen, many are proudly displaying the rainbow poster with its message `We’re Open – Shop Local & Help Us Keep Stirling Thriving!’
Grant Reid, owner of Calluna Ethical Living in Murray Place, reopened last Monday and business has been brisk.
He has one of the Go Forth Stirling posters in his window and is delighted to be welcoming customers back to the shop which sells a variety of homeware.
Mr Reid said: “Since we reopened it’s been phenomenal and I hope it’s going to continue – because the Thistles was still closed when we first opened, people were coming along to Murray Place and discovering us and the other shops around here.
“We had customers coming in for the first time who didn’t realise we were here which has been a real boost plus many of our regulars have been back.
“It’s been lovely to have people back in and see lots of friendly faces.”
Mr Reid has revamped the layout of the shop to allow for better social distancing and expanded the homeware section focusing on cushions, rugs, blankets and house plants.
He is also using floor stickers and sneeze guards provided by Go Forth Stirling.
He said: “Go Forth Stirling has gone over and above to help Stirling businesses through the crisis – the floor stickers and sneeze screens are great and I love the fact that most shops are using them as it brings the independents together with the same branding.
“We’ve got the `We Are Open’ poster in the window and it looks cracking – it’s nice and vibrant and it’s good it has the rainbow theme coming through.”
Andrew Pemberton, owner of popular Sewing Machine Centre Pembertons in Friars Street, has been busy throughout the pandemic selling machines, haberdashery and accessories online.
He reopened recently and the shop has been popular with customers since then.
He said: “We’ve been working all the way through doing web orders – it’s been very busy and there’s been a huge demand for sewing machines and supplies due to people making their own masks and personal protective equipment.
“We’ve seen a huge demand for elastic, for example, which people have been buying from the website and since we reopened it’s been busier than I expected in terms of people coming in.
“The screen guard and floor stickers provided by Go Forth Stirling have been very useful and we’ve also put the poster up – the support has been very good and they are quick at getting things done.”
Doreen Affleck is looking forward to reopening her jewellery business AhDors Gold & Gifts in Upper Craigs this week.
She said: “We’ve had regular clients who’ve been ordering goods online which has helped and we’re pleased to be able to reopen.
“Our customers have been very supportive and emailing to ask when we’ll be back.”
“We’ve been getting ready by moving cabinets around so we have more space and we should be able to have around 6-7 customers in at a time.
“It helps that a lot of people come for a consultation so we can arrange a timeslot and know in advance who is coming in and when.
“We’re using the Go Forth Stirling floor stickers and it’s good to have the equipment we need to make changes. We’re also putting the poster up in the window so people know we’re open.”
The `We’re Open’ poster campaign is one of a range of initiatives launched by Go Forth Stirling to help the city’s business community recover from the Covid-19 crisis.
Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith said: “We thought a bright, colourful poster for the window of every business which wants one would be a great way of letting people know which shops are open.
“We hope people will be encouraged to shop locally and support Stirling’s wonderful range of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants as they reopen and really help them thrive.”
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Stirling’s BID has been proactive in helping local businesses.
Projects include the provision of protective equipment, free online training courses, sector-specific Covid-19 operating guidance and an `Open for Business’ online directory.
Go Forth Stirling Business Improvement District (BID) represents close to 400 local businesses with a key objective of delivering projects and services which improve the area’s trading environment to benefit businesses, shoppers and visitors.
The BID was set up in September 2017 following a vote among the city’s traders and runs for an initial five-year term.
For more details visit www.goforthstirling.co.uk