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Digital presence vital for Inverness local business recovery

22nd January 2021

Photograph of Digital presence vital for Inverness local business recovery

Inverness Councillors on The Highland Council's City and Area Recovery Group today discussed the importance of local businesses having an online digital presence for customer access during the pandemic and post-lockdown recovery.

Good digital access via websites and social media was the common theme raised by two speakers from Business Gateway and the Highland Food and Drink Trail in presentations to Councillors.

Depute Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area, Cllr Graham Ross who Chairs the City and Area Recovery Group thanked speakers Danny Gallagher from Business Gateway Highland, for their Digital Inclusion delivery and Douglas Hardie, Bad Girl Bakery for the Highland Food and Drink Trail for their presentations, he said:

"It is encouraging to hear about the high level of interest and uptake for Business Gateway online digital training and advice and assistance. We know that people want to shop local, during the government coronavirus restrictions and they also want to support local business. Its vitally important that local businesses can be easily found to new customers seeking them online.

"Members are also very excited about the proposals for the Highland Food and Drink Trail in Inverness. This model has huge potential for the local food and drink sector which could potentially be rolled out across the Highlands. Again, we are hearing that the active social media presence of businesses will play a huge part in the food and drink trail. Businesses will be able to respond and promote menus accordingly as daily fresh produce is available to them.

"The Highland Food and Drink Trail is a very exciting prospect for the sector and its customers leading to the promotion of the City as an attractive place to visit and Council officers are actively working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Council's Roads and Transport, Licensing and Planning services to help progress this project."

Councillors also received an update on the work of Inverness BID prior to Christmas covering their advertising campaigns - both with the Inverness Common Good Fund and HN Media Group and independently by the BID with Moray Firth Radio. Mike Smith, Inverness BID Manager thanked the Council on behalf of M&S for the Council's support in the closure of Hamilton Street before Christmas to enable safe customer access to collect orders from the store.

Members were also informed about the Council's implementation of the Scottish Government Spaces for People funding in the city. The project is a response to the public health crisis to give people space to move around towns and cities safely across the country. Further details on the Spaces for People Project will be reported to the City of Inverness Area Committee in due course.


Caithness does not have Business Improvement District (BID)

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Depute Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area, Cllr Graham Ross who Chairs the City and Area Recovery Group.


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