A businesswoman is hopeful that her new podiatry clinic can have a “domino effect” by attracting scores of people to spend cash in a Moray town during the pandemic.
Banff Chiropody and Podiatry’s owner Sasha Cameron believes the opening of a clinic in Buckie can bring more people to the town and in turn aid Covid economic recovery.
She has already seen appointments coming in thick and fast for footcare services at the business on Gordon Street.
The premises in the Moray town used to be home to the Perfect Moments Bridal Boutique before the shop closed their doors back in March.
Despite ever changing Covid-19 regulations, the business has been “better placed” to deal with the safety measures required to keep staff and customers safe.
Mrs Cameron said: “I hope we can help the town and the good thing is that we are taking over a empty shop which brings people in the area.
“It is hoped that might result in people using services elsewhere in the town that benefits the community.
“We really need to have less empty shops in towns across the region.
“We are probably better placed as we already follow strict infection control and have medical training so it has been a easy adjustment for us as we always wear PPE anyway.
“The only difference is there are mobile screens in place when clients are receiving treatment and air filter systems.
Mrs Cameron said her clinic would reduce “pressure” on the NHS as they focus on the battle against the virus.
She added: “We have been fully booked for first two weeks and received a really good response in Buckie.
“It is certainly uncertain times and as a podiatry we take the pressure off of the NHS.
“We are seeing a greater number of people coming through our doors and we are happy to help as they aren’t able to get those type of NHS services currently during the pandemic.
“Our Banff clinic has been established for a year in a half and there was a real demand in Buckie so thought I would take the risk even during these uncertain times but it has had a good response so far.”
Last night, councillor Tim Eagle urged locals to continue supporting the town’s businesses amid the uncertainty.
Moray has been hard hit by the pandemic, with 34% of the workforce furloughed – the second-highest percentage in Scotland after only the Highlands.
Mr Eagle said: “The team behind the new chiropody and podiatry clinic have shown real enthusiasm to serve local people in the area and I am aware many feel this is a great addition to the town.
“By having a wide variety of shops and services in Buckie we can attract people to shop locally, where they may then use one service but take the opportunity to visit other shops.
“This is vital, it provides jobs, builds communities, supports local people, and is even good for your health by encouraging activity and conversation.
“Businesses have suffered throughout Covid-19 and I have been pushing as hard as possible for strong support both locally and nationally.
“We should all be aware of the value of local business, it employs local people and the money taken in often circulates within the local area.”