When Zoe Brennan decided to open her own shop there was only one place she wanted to do it: In her home community.

As a creative businesswoman, she is a prime example of why people across Scotland need to “choose local” and support the businesses around them.

Zoe, the proprietor of cards, gifts and stationery store Hell Yeah in Shawlands, Glasgow, is one of the businesspeople championing the Scotland Loves Local campaign, led by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP).

She has joined the growing chorus of support for everyone to make positive individual choices that make a huge difference in communities - by turning to local businesses for all their needs.

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Not only is Zoe, 34, an independent shopkeeper herself, but an advocate of showcasing the best of indie design, with her Pollokshaws Road store a showcase for creators of stationary, homeware and accessories.

Explaining why being part of the community is so important to her, she said: “I’m a Southside girl at heart. I’ve always lived close to, or in, Shawlands.

“I actually started my business online. It got bigger and bigger so I realised there was an opportunity to have a store - and where else but home?

“The shop now brings in more than online does - and that’s thanks to the community and the desire to shop local in Shawlands, which is massive. People want local businesses to succeed.”

Like others across the country, businesses in Shawlands have noticed an increase in the way in which local people have supported shops and services in their area as they have spent more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

She and her neighbours - many of them part of the My Shawlands Business Improvement District - hope that’s a habit people will choose to continue with as their options through the recovery from Covid-19 begin to increase.

“A positive from the pandemic has definitely been that more people are shopping locally,” Zoe added. “It has definitely made people realise what’s around them.

“We hope that will continue now that people have become more used to staying local, how much they can get and how much better the experience can be. You can go into a shop, be greeted like a friend and support the community.”

Like most local businesses, Zoe has been innovative with her website and social media to ensure she could continue to support her customers even when restrictions meant she was unable to open her shop.

STP chief officer Phil Prentice hopes that people across Scotland will repay the loyalty and dedication shown by the people behind local businesses by continuing to support them.

He said: “It’s so important that people choose local. By doing so, we will be protecting jobs, businesses and making our communities better places to live. As individuals, making the right choices can benefit all of those around us.”

Scotland Loves Local is supported by the Scottish Government. For more information, go to www.lovelocal.scot. Follow #ScotlandLovesLocal and #ChooseLocal on social media.

This article is brought to you in association with Scotland Loves Local campaign.