Hard-up businesses in Dundee will finally be able to claw back some of the cash they have lost out on with street-access shops allowed to re-open from today.
Shops have been working to introduce measures to allow shoppers and staff to remain safe.
Alison Henderson, chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, has urged locals to get behind independent and local stores to get the economy moving once more.
Alison said: “The impact on livelihoods during the coronavirus crisis has the potential to be devastating to many small local business, particularly those with physical premises with fixed costs to bear and manage.
“Adapting retail spaces to make sure social distancing measures are brought in, while maintaining trading revenues is going to be a difficult balancing act for many.”
The widespread easing comes as the Scottish Government launches a national campaign, which includes posters for retailers, encouraging the public to enjoy shopping again as they safely support businesses in their local area.
It asks shoppers to pay attention to signs, guidance and instructions from shop staff, to shop outside of peak hours and to follow current health guidance. This includes the wearing of face coverings.
Alison continued: “We know lots of local businesses have adapted during the crisis and are reaching customers via online deliveries and so on, let’s hope that the consumer behaviour which has seen lots of support and loyalty for local buying will continue.
“It’s really important that we all understand how difficult its been for businesses to ensure safe shopping can now happen. Shoppers should bear in mind that staff in shops will also be nervous but pleased to be back looking after customers.
“Many businesses are delighted to be able to open their premises as we move through the different phases of lockdown.
“Buying local and supporting our local businesses and their employees is a very important step in getting the economy moving. Our shops need our custom to help them get back on their feet and this will help safeguard local jobs which is hugely important.”
The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) trade body, along with trade union Usdaw and the Scottish Government, is urging people to follow five steps for “considerate shopping”.
They are to queue considerately, maintain social distancing, follow instructions inside and outside shops, follow hygiene measures and be respectful to staff.