Everybody knows what challenging times we are living through with level three restrictions continuing to have an impact on what we can do and who we can see.
But despite the tough times, local businesses continue to serve the community – often coming up with new and creative ways to ensure their customers can get what they need.
From restaurants doing home deliveries to tradesmen donning extra layers of personal protective equipment, there are barely any sectors that have not been affected by the pandemic.
Today The Shetland Times celebrates those businesses who have bravely battled on by urging our readers to get behind the “Shop Local First” message.
It makes sense in many ways.
Local businesses are the cornerstone of the economy. As well as delivering goods and services that we all need, those same firms provide crucial employment for other Shetlanders.
And as money spent locally is more likely to stay in Shetland, helping other companies and their employees rather than multinational corporations or shareholders outwith the isles, it’s a win-win situation.
Economists call it the local multiplier effect. We call it common sense and everyone can do their bit simply by doing more shopping locally.
Large and small businesses across the isles need our support at what is a tough time due to the uncertainty caused by coronavirus. But shopping locally is not about spending out of sympathy. It’s about supporting each other, finding what you need in your own community and helping it thrive.
There’s not much you cannot get in Shetland. From top-notch food and drink to expert advice, stylish and weatherproof clothing to perfect perfumes – local businesses can provide it all.
Times are changing and most people rely on digital services and online deliveries for some items. There is nothing wrong with that – but it is worth remembering the vast range of Shetland-based businesses that are here to help.
Many companies are able to match online prices and customers get the added bonus of not having to worry about delivery delays. Plus there is the advantage of having someone close at hand to help with any follow-up queries.
Shetland is rightly proud of its enterprising spirit and Shetlanders should be proud of the businesses that thrive here.
Despite the difficult circumstances, that is as true today as it has always been and supporting Shetland firms is more important than ever.
As a locally-owned, published and printed newspaper The Shetland Times certainly thinks so. That is why we have been running a #shoplocalfirst campaign over recent months.
Our community can support Shetland businesses by shopping locally more often. It’s easy, reliable and good value.
So whether it is goods or a service that you require think about what is on offer on your doorstep and Shop Local First.