Shops in Elgin positive about reopening on April 26
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
LOCAL shops and retail outlets are getting ready to welcome back customers on Monday.
The further relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions will see non-essential retailers allowed to open their doors for the first time since Christmas.
Gemma Cruickshank, manager of Elgin Business Improvement District (BID), said it will be a big day for all retailers.
“The businesses are ecstatic to be coming back. It has come a lot sooner than we originally thought.
“There is a lot of positivity around and our members are looking forward to opening up again.”
To enhance that positivity Elgin BID is launching an Embrace Elgin loyalty card next Friday to coincide with the reopening of the local economy.
So far, 25 local businesses have signed up to participate in the loyalty scheme which will see customers get a stamp for every £15 they spend in a participating business.
When they have filled in five different business stamps they will be entered into a quarterly draw to win a £100 Elgin Gift Card, which can be spent locally at a variety of retailers.
You can find out the participating retailers at www.embraceelgin.co.uk
Stephen Young, chairman of Elgin BID, added: “The loyalty card scheme is a simply brilliant initiative, finally a scheme that fulfils and allows for full city centre engagement.
“Participation in the scheme by all our business sectors encourages a shop/stay local ethos and importantly the scheme requires very little effort on everyone’s part to ensure its success.
“Plus having the added benefit of customers and businesses alike having a chance of winning a quarterly prize is an additional incentive for all.
“We want to continue to improve Elgin as a vibrant city centre where people want to work, shop, socialise, do business and enjoy themed events.”
Ms Cruickshank, who took up her role last August in the midst of the pandemic, praised local businesses for the way they have responded to the coronavirus crisis which has seen lockdowns and stringent restirctions imposed since last March.
Many people have moved to online shopping and the secret will be to win back local trade and drive up footfall as the country contines to live with coronavirus.
“Business owners have really had to think outside the box and they have proved they can.
“As shops open up again we want to encourage people to spend locally,” added Ms Cruickshank.
Face coverings will remain mandatory in shops from Monday, unless you are exempt for medical reasons, with limits on the number of customers at any time, one way systems and hand sanitizing.