A NEW shop looks set to open in Galashiels later this year – to help put the region's small businesses on the map.

Adam Elder and Jenny Potter are hoping to bring their whynot? idea to the town, which will give Borderers the chance to either rent space in the store or simply stock their produce.

The pair opened their first retail outlet in North Berwick in 2013, taking over an empty unit in the High Street.

And following its success, the entrepreneurs say they are now ready to expand and are in advanced talks to bring it to Galashiels.

Mr Elder said: "We’ve been looking to open another branch of whynot? for some time now but have waited until finding the right location in the right town. Initial research has led us to believe that Galashiels is that place.

"We sent an email survey to 140 Borders based crafters and artists last week and are delighted that well over 100 have come back to us with very positive feedback.

"With 14 employees whynot? is more than just an indoor market.

"We work with schools and colleges providing training placements and we host local charities and community organisations who need fundraise or simply gain publicity for their cause.

"We also work with the very smallest local food producers, even stocking excess produce from people's allotments and gardens in the delicatessen. It really is a place that works for everyone."

The business is currently houses 20 retailers including artists, crafters and micro-businesses and each can sign up for anything from one day to six months.

Mr Elder added: "Retail conditions are challenging for even the largest operators but we have shown that providing space in a high footfall, high profile location at an affordable fee gives even the smallest business a great chance of success.

"Since 2013 well over 250 retailers have taken space in whynot? with 14 of these developing their business and now occupying premises of their own and employing staff."

Mr Elder stated that whynot? is in advanced discussions with property owners in Galashiels and a final decision on the shop's location will be made within the next month.