Experts are now more optimistic that the UK and Scottish economies will bounce back faster from the pandemic than previously expected and that we will see some strong growth in a short period.

With the latest easing of restrictions and more businesses re-opening their doors, there has been a significant increase in offline trade.

We are already seeing signs that a nation that has been in lockdown since before Christmas is ready to get out shopping and the Chamber welcomes the government’s direction of travel towards a fuller re-opening of the Scottish economy.

People are equally keen to meet and socialise more and, whilst capacity will be reduced and challenges remain, this is benefitting those hospitality businesses that operate effectively within the guidance around social distancing and alcohol. For many others, however, this won’t be viable before there is a return to alcohol and food being sold indoors for extended hours.

The lifting of restrictions will certainly be welcomed by accommodation providers and their suppliers who are desperate to welcome guests back after so many months.

To allow all of our businesses to plan to return to more viable levels of operation, we need more clarity around firm timescales and further lifting of restrictions. There are still significant gaps, not just for the hospitality sector but for office working, events, international travel and the associated supply chains.

The Chamber is still encouraging our communities to support our local businesses having rolled out our “Loves Local” Shop Local campaign in Alexandria, Dumbarton, Clydebank, Bearsden and Bishopbriggs, with Balloch coming online soon.

The Loves Local campaign will continue to promote shopping and trading locally and as our economy starts to re-emerge, our digital and print campaigns will highlight some of the wonderful businesses we have in these towns.

We are delighted with the interest from businesses to be added to the directories within each of the town websites developed as part of the campaign.

In the countdown to the Scottish election, the Chamber hosted a debate with representation from the main political parties that make up the Scottish Parliament. It was encouraging that the economy was put front and centre by all parties and that the candidates were committed to increased engagement with businesses and supportive of our campaign.

To connect with the Chamber or the Loves Local Campaign contact 0141 280 0272 or email