Live local, buy local

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An online campaign has been set up to encourage Stonehaven residents to shop locally.

‘Save Stonehaven Shops’ has been launched by a local group of residents concerned that if people do not use the small businesses on their doorstep, it won’t be long before they will lose them.

The initiative, run mainly by the town’s ‘Ma Simpson’s’ and ‘Stonehaven Kincardineshire’ Facebook pages aims to feature a local shop each week to encourage local business and remind people that Stonehaven’s independent shops still exist. The idea, originally suggested by Stonehaven reseident Tom Foreman, is hoping to boost local business. The selected shop is published on Facebook and members then comment on their favourite item or memories from that shop. Part of the idea came after seeing the damage left to many small central businesses following the town’s flooding in 2009 and the slow restart many of the shops had following this.

The idea was launched last week with the first chosen business Charles McHardy’s butcher shop on Market Square. For that week, the social networking page was encouraging locals to support the business. Customers who did this were entered into a free prize draw within the butchers to win a joint of beef.

This week, one of Stonehaven’s oldest businesses E. Giulianotti was chosen as the featured shop. The traditional sweet shop which dates back to 1899 is also giving out raffle tickets until Monday to any paying customer.

Owner, Marjory Stephen says she is a supporter of anything that raises the awareness of local shops in the town and said ‘lots of people live in Stonehaven for many years without noticing the quality of local shops. “I get people coming in and saying they have lived in the town for years but never knew the shop was here.

“Many people commute to Aberdeen instead of realising there are a lot of good quality shops in Stonehaven. Anything that attracts people to local businesses can only be a good thing for all the shops involved.”