A CALL to arms has been issued for people to shop locally and ‘Love East Lothian’ in a bid to boost the county’s economy as lockdown restrictions ease.

East Lothian Council has launched a campaign for residents to ‘Stay Safe, Support Local, Love East Lothian’  by using local shops and businesses.

With many businesses hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, retailers across the county re-opened this week and introduced social distancing measures to keep customers and staff safe.

And the council is calling on people to back their local shops and services by using them while following safety advice.

Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s Provost and spokesperson for economic development and tourism, said: “East Lothian’s shops and local businesses have had to face particularly challenging circumstances over the last few months, but, as our high streets start to open up again, they are keen to welcome existing and new customers 

“I’m delighted to support the launch of East Lothian Council’s new campaign – Stay Safe, Support Local, Love East Lothian.

“It’s about sending out a message that East Lothian is getting back open for business – whatever products or services you’re looking for, you’re very likely to find them here in East Lothian.

“Local businesses are essential for our economy. They bring growth and innovation, provide employment and support the local economies and communities. They also care about their community.

“By continuing to stay safe and shop locally the people of East Lothian can help local businesses, so integral to the fabric and character of our community, to not only survive but thrive.”

The campaign comes as East Lothian councillor Craig Hoy, who is the Scottish Conservative candidate for the Holyrood 2021 election, launched a local ‘Support Our High Streets’ campaign.

Mr Hoy has already called on the council to make it easier for local restaurants, cafes and bars to re-open by allowing them to use public space near their venues to provide al fresco services.

He said: “With East Lothian’s shops re-opening, it’s vital that we Support Our High Streets, save jobs and help the local economy bounce back.

“We can all do our bit by making sure we shop local and visit our fantastic range of cafes, restaurants and bars as they begin to re-open.”