A NEW way of shopping in East Renfrewshire has been launched in the run-up to Christmas.

The Scotland Loves Local Gift Card initiative aims to encourage shoppers to back local businesses and entice visitors to spend longer in East Renfrewshire.

Led by Scotland’s Towns Partnership and funded by the Scottish Government, the scheme involves a gift card that can be bought online and used to buy everything from jewellery, beauty treatments and clothes to homeware, whisky and meals out.

Employers are also being urged to back other companies in the area by using the card as part of their rewards programme.

Councillor Tony Buchanan, leader of East Renfrewshire Council, launched the initiative during a visit to Distinction Health and Beauty Spa, in Clarkston, which is among the businesses to have signed up.

He told the Barrhead News: “This is a fantastic new initiative and I am really pleased to see so many local businesses get involved.

“The impact the pandemic has had on the economy in East Renfrewshire cannot be underestimated – and, with Christmas just around the corner, what better gift than that of supporting local businesses who have never needed our support more?”

East Renfrewshire Council, along with the local Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), are supporting the rollout of the gift cards as traders try to recover from the economic impact of the Covid pandemic.

Andy Dunlop, BID manager, said: “East Renfrewshire has an amazing range of businesses offering unique and high-quality products.

“It is more important than ever to back our local businesses and buying this new gift card is a perfect opportunity to do so.

“I would encourage any business who reads this to get signed up if they haven’t already done so."

To buy a gift card, visit here.

Any businesses that are interested in getting involved should visit here.