Special awards will be presented to honour the heroes of Scotland’s high streets to reward their dedication and determination to help those around them during the coronavirus crisis and to allow high streets re-open safely when lockdown restrictions have been eased.
Nominations are being sought for the High Street Heroes Awards to recognise the remarkable efforts of those who have gone above and beyond to support their communities at a time where their help has never been needed more.
Members of the public can nominate a local person, business or organisation which they feel has made a difference – from helping vulnerable neighbours to keeping town centres welcoming and safe as restrictions have eased.
The awards are being organised as part of the Scotland Loves Local campaign, which encourages shoppers across the country to think local first and back businesses in their own town centre or high street before travelling further afield or turning to online retail giants.
Nominations for the High Street Heroes Awards can be made at https://lovelocal.scot/high-street-heroes/. There, you can briefly share the details of the person, local business or organisation you would like to see rewarded and why.
Nominations open today (Monday, August 24th) and will close at 5pm on Friday, September 11th. Everyone nominated will receive recognition from the Scotland Loves Local campaign. A selection of nominees chosen from across the country will also receive a special Scotland Loves Local prize and potential opportunities for local and national media coverage.
Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said: “For all that civic-minded citizens, business owners and local organisations in our town centres have done for us, now it’s time for us to do something for them.
“These are people who are at the heart of our communities. They go to remarkable lengths to support those around them – never more so than in recent months.
“Despite the challenges that they have faced, an amazing number have been at the heart of community responses, easing issues faced by their customers and neighbours, whether that be through making deliveries or even the simple act of regular phone calls to make sure that vulnerable people are well. Many have also contributed to ensuring our town centres are clean, safe and welcoming places to visit as lockdown restrictions have eased. We want to shine a spotlight on all that they have done.”
Scotland’s Communities Secretary, Aileen Campbell MSP, who is supporting the call for nominations, said: “When the coronavirus lockdown was introduced it reshaped various aspects of our lives – how we worked, shopped and interacted with one another all changed overnight. As travel was limited to prevent the spread of the virus, the true value of localism was brought into sharp focus. It’s important now that we recognise the efforts made by those individuals, groups and local businesses who went to extraordinary lengths to support our communities during a period of great uncertainty for many.
“Now is your chance to show them how much they are appreciated by nominating those people who made such a huge difference in the heart of our communities when it mattered most.”
Businesses across the country have been working with Business Improvement Districts, Local Authorities and others to put in place arrangements which mean people can shop locally, but safely. These arrangements include the use of screens, distance markers and signage, the provision of hand sanitiser instore and capacity limits.
As part of Scotland Loves Local, business owners are being recognised for these efforts by encouraging the public to turn to them first, whether it be for groceries, other supplies, safely meeting up with friends in a cafe, enjoying a meal in a restaurant or drink in a pub.
A critical part of the campaign is highlighting the fact that it’s the people behind the businesses which make our town centres special – not simply the buildings and shop units which are found on them.