Earlier this month, the Scottish Government announced that many high street retailers would be allowed to reopen stores from June 29.
Shops of all sizes can open as long as they have outdoor entrances and exits. Owners and managers must also ensure stores can be operated safely with two-metre physical distancing measures in place to protect staff and customers.
Since March 23, when the country went into lockdown, only businesses deemed to provide essential services remained open. These included supermarkets, pharmacies, newsagents, banks and butchers.
Now the new re-opening day for other businesses has been widely welcomed. Speaking for many, the staff at Libellula Boutique Scotland in Milngavie said “we could not be more excited to finally open our doors on June 29”.
A range of measures will be in place to ensure customers and staff are protected from the spread of the coronavirus. These include restricted numbers in stores at one time, “click and collect” services and requests for customers to use provided hand sanitisers before entering.
Milngavie BID has also been working to support local traders with a free supply of protective screens, floor stickers to ensure physical distancing, new “Safe Milngavie” welcoming banners and “click and collect” posters.
Among the retailers in Milngavie that have opened for business today are John Amabile Design, which has a protective screen and floor stickers now installed as part of a Milngavie BID safety campaign.
Gifts and cards store Besotted Xx will be restricting customer numbers to two at a time, while staff at Libellula Boutique Scotland will have floor stickers indicating social distancing measures.
Ruby Red Gift Shop and Driftwood Lifestyle Boutique will have social distancing measures and they are also offering an appointment system for anyone who is shielding, or who would simply like to shop alone. Appointments will allow customers to shop alone after 4.30pm each day.
For Allander Dental Care, Scottish Government guidance will allow staff to see up to 10 patients, who have an urgent dental problem, each day.
Throughout this week, other traders will also open their doors. The Gavin’s Mill team will re-launch on July 1 with a Cafe To Go menu, as well as the Fairtrade shop.
On July 2, the team at Costa Milngavie will once again welcome their regular and new customers.
With free parking, a wide-open precinct, plenty of fresh air, beautiful flower displays thanks to Milngavie in Bloom, newly painted railings and a can-do atmosphere, it’s hoped that shoppers will be keen to return to the town.
Graeme Ross , from Milngavie BID, said: “It’s been a challenging few months for everyone including local people, business owners, children, those self isolating, key workers and more.
“But there have been no new cases of coronavirus for the third consecutive day and this is the news we’ve all been waiting for.
“A special mention goes out at this time to all the family and friends of anyone in the area who has lost a loved one over the last few months. This will be a very difficult time for you and, on behalf of everyone in Milngavie, our most sincere condolences go to you.
“Ever since the lockdown was announced, Milngavie BID has been working hard to help all businesses in Milngavie where we can.
“The next phase of our task is to welcome everyone back to our precinct. More shops are allowed to open and business owners are looking forward to seeing you all again. There will be measures in place to make you feel safe.
“Please do spread the word to everyone you know that Milngavie is a great local place to shop for a wide range of needs and services.
“Let’s stay safe while doing business again.”
Many businesses have also adapted by fully embracing digital technology, online communications (and yes, sales) to keep their businesses going.
Many have relied on their new or existing websites and social media channels to keep in touch with you and the reality is this will continue as we move forward.
When you visit the precinct again, look out for the window posters promoting “Click and Collect”.
Businesses all over Scotland have adapted and a new #ScotlandLovesLocal campaign will be asking fellow Scots to #ShopLocal and #LoveLocal .
Simply by spending your hard earned money with a local business or via #ShopLocalOnline you can help your local high street and community.
Local businesses have also been posting on social media to carry on their customer communications. We have highlighted a few examples below for you.