Orkney Loves Local

Keep it in Kirkwall this Christmas!

Some top reasons to shop local

Shopping locally, as opposed to online, offers several benefits, both for individuals and the community as a whole:

  1. Supporting the Local Economy: When you shop locally, your money stays within your community. Local businesses often reinvest their profits in the local economy by hiring local residents, paying local taxes, and sourcing goods and services from nearby providers. This helps create jobs and stimulates economic growth.

  2. Personalised Service: Local businesses often provide a higher level of personalised service compared to online retailers. You can interact with knowledgeable staff who can offer recommendations and assistance, helping you make informed decisions about your purchases.

  3. Community Character: Local businesses contribute to the unique character and charm of a community. They often reflect the local culture, traditions, and values, making your community a more interesting and vibrant place to live.

  4. Reduced Environmental Impact: Shopping locally can be more environmentally friendly, as it typically involves shorter transportation distances for goods. This can result in lower carbon emissions and reduced packaging waste compared to online shopping, which may require shipping from distant warehouses.

  5. Product Quality: Local businesses often take pride in the quality of their products and services. They have a vested interest in maintaining a good reputation within their community, which can lead to higher-quality goods and services.

  6. Faster Access: When you shop locally, you can often access products immediately, without having to wait for shipping. This can be especially beneficial for items you need urgently.

  7. Building Relationships: Shopping locally allows you to build relationships with the people who own and operate these businesses. This sense of community can enhance your overall shopping experience and create a sense of trust and loyalty.

  8. Community Investment: Many local businesses actively contribute to community events, charities, and initiatives. By supporting these businesses, you indirectly support these community-building efforts.

  9. Unique and Handmade Products: Local businesses often offer unique and handmade products that you may not find from larger, online retailers. This can be especially appealing if you're looking for one-of-a-kind items or gifts.

  10. Sense of Belonging: Shopping locally can foster a sense of belonging and connection to your community. It's an opportunity to meet neighbours and engage in the social fabric of your area.

*** UPDATE 28th AUGUST 2023 ***

We had a fantastic day in Kirkwall on Saturday 26th August, finding out your favourite businesses across Orkney! We gave away loads of fantastic merchandise, talked about the importance of keeping your money in the County and encouraged everyone to support or keep supporting their local businesses! Thanks to all who came along and shared with us.

£5 ‘Summer Sizzler’ campaign kicks off to remind folk of the millions of pounds being lost from the county.

Fivers at the ready, as this Saturday (26th August 2023) businesses across Orkney will be offering £5 bargains in a ‘Summer Sizzler’ campaign, as part of Scotland Loves Local initiative.

The business-bolstering initiative is organised by Ruby Merriman (Stromness Community Development Trust) and Laura Bruce (Kirkwall BID), as part of the £15,000 funding they secured from Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Orkney Islands Council to boost the ‘love local’ message across Orkney.

Laura Bruce, Kirkwall BID project manager explains: “The key message of this campaign is that if every adult in Orkney redirected £5 of their weekly spending to local businesses rather than online/out of Orkney, it would add an additional £4.9m a year to Orkney’s economy. This keeps money in Orkney, for Orkney. We know how much our local businesses contribute to local sports teams, charities, events and more. It’s a great time to remind them that we support them too!”

“Businesses are the backbone of our communities and they have weathered huge challenges over the past few years. Now, more than ever, they deserve our support. This campaign aims to get more people shopping locally and highlights the importance of supporting local businesses right across Orkney, helping to keep money in our county.

The ‘Summer Sizzler’ event lasts until Sunday 3rd of September. From Saturday, you will see the ‘Summer Sizzler’ poster in the doors and windows of participating businesses across Orkney. Pop in and find out what sizzling five pound offer they have available! It could be a great discounted item, a fabulous food deal, a special cocktail, an introductory treatment offer - the options are endless and you can only find out by visiting.

The Kirkwall BID team will be in Kirkwall to talk to people about what ‘love local’ means to them and there will be a giant game of ‘love local’ snakes and ladders, as well as free promotional ‘Orkney loves local’ items!

Ruby Merriman added: “We’re delighted to be able to create this campaign thanks to our match-funding from Orkney Islands Council and Scotland’s Towns Partnership, allowing us to support businesses across Orkney outside of our usual areas. Laura and I feel that this event will be a great way to encourage people back into businesses they’ve perhaps forgotten about, or remind them of the fantastic availability on our doorsteps.”

Some of the businesses across Orkney taking part:

The Orcadian Bookshop Hume Sweet Hume Grooves Records Donaldsons of Orkney Arts a Flutter E Flett Butcher Ltd Stromness Museum Badly Drawn Cat Blue Joe's Kirkness & Gorie The Pier Arts Centre Highland Park The Longship Wisharts Judith Glue and the Real Food Cafe The Quernstone 59 Degrees North Argos Bakery Kirkwall ODD ANIMALS RESCUE Wellpark Garden Centre William Shearers The Lynfield Hotel The Merkister Hotel Sinclair Office Supplies Sinclairs Ice-cream & Sweets Orkney Breweries Peedie Bottle Shop Bruces Stores Castaway Crafts …


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This project was part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney Leader 2007-13 Programme.