A campaign focused on supporting and promoting local businesses battling through the Covid-19 pandemic launches today.
North-East Now will shine a light on north-east businesses which have been significantly affected since the Scottish Government introduced lockdown measures in March.
The initiative aims to allow people to find out more about local firms operating throughout the pandemic, pulling together a range of information, directories and blogs to create a one-stop online resource.
The hub makes it easy for people to support local firms from a wide range of industries including food, drink, fashion, beauty, lifestyle and more.
With so many north-east businesses adapting and diversifying to overcome the impact of Covid-19, North-East Now will share inspirational and positive stories, encouraging people to do what they can to support the local economies in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Driven by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, the initiative is also supported by creative agency Hampton, Aberdeen Journals and VisitAberdeenshire.
Russell Borthwick, chief executive, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have seen some terrific examples of community spirit in recent months and a really fantastic sense of coming together in the face of adversity. As we start to move through the recovery phase, the vital question we now face is how do we re-fire our regional economy?
“There’s lots of stimulus packages and technical guidance available to help firms understand how to reopen but if people don’t want to go places and buy things there is a real danger that many of our local businesses simply won’t recover.
“We need to try to rebuild consumer confidence and demand, which is the only thing that will get our economy moving again and a strong regional economy is not just important for business owners, it’s vital for all of us.
“North-East Now seeks to use the power of the collective and make it easy for everyone to play a part.”
The hub will provide information on which local products are available in shops and supermarkets, making it easy for people to choose north-east brands in their weekly shop. It will also include sections on local businesses as well as food and drink, health and wellbeing, lifestyle and fashion and beauty sectors.
As part of the campaign, Aberdeen Journals will host a social media “power hour” this week.
This will involve the Press and Journal, Evening Express, Society and Original 106 Twitter accounts retweeting every tweet from local businesses using the hashtag #northeastisopen between noon and 1pm on Thursday. Firms are encouraged to post a picture of themselves at their business holding up a sign which reads #northeastisopen.
Mr Borthwick added: “There are lots of small cooperatives and similar initiatives happening but they might not be able to get their message out as far and wide as they would like.
“We want to help amplify their voice and give them a platform to engage, promote and talk about what they’re doing while making it easy for North-east residents to know what’s out there and how they can help.
“North-East Now is a place that anybody can come to, promote what they’re doing and contribute to the discussion about how we can all play our part in helping to get the economy going again so we would encourage everyone to go to the hub and help make our region thrive.”
Morven Mackenzie, managing director of Hampton, said: “As a creative agency, we were really keen to get behind this campaign and use our team’s skills and talents to help shape the North East Now message and encourage people to get out there and shop, explore and stay local. Most of us working at Hampton live in the north-east and so we want to do whatever we can to make sure our business community remains buoyant.
“In bringing together our creativity, marketing knowledge and technical expertise, we can hopefully do our bit to help make a difference. We have such fantastic shops, restaurants, and food and drink producers in our region. What’s not to love. Let’s get out there and support them.”
Visit northeastnow.scot to access the hub and find out more.
Aberdeen Journals’ power hour will take place on Thursday from noon-1pm on Twitter. To take part and spread the message that your business is open throughout the pandemic, just follow the steps below: