KIRKCALDY and Cowdenbeath MP Neale Hanvey is a great supporter of the Shop Local motto and he is encouraging shops in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area to enter the Best Small Shops competition and is urging constituents to “think local first”.

Mr Hanvey, is calling on local independent retailers to enter the Best Small Shops Competition.

The competition celebrates the successes of independent shops and the central role they play in the local community, particularly in response to Covid-19.

Shops will be judged on their entrepreneurial spirit, ways that they have been innovative in their business and what they have done to have a lasting positive impact on their community.

There are a host of shops in Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly and the surrounding villages who can enter.

But Mr Hanvey is also calling on local people to use local independent retailers to help recharge the Central Fife economy. This comes as the Scottish Government launches the Scotland Loves Local campaign that is designed to encourage everyone in Scotland to think local first and support their local town centres and High Streets.

A poll last week found that 66 percent of Scots say they will prioritise shopping locally as town centres fully re-open following lockdown.

Commenting, Neale Hanvey said: “When you get the mix right between independent retailers, leisure, and housing, then you’ve got the ingredients for a modern, thriving High Street.

“And we’ve already got some brilliant independent shops across the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency – maybe even one or two that could challenge to be the best in Scotland.

“So, if you run one of these shops, you should nominate yourself for the Best Small Shops competition".

He added: "Now is also the time for the rest of us to shop local. It’s really encouraging to see that two-thirds of folk are keen to get out and support retailers in our town centres.

“But this isn’t just about recovering from the pandemic, let’s use recent events as an opportunity to change how we shop and from now on, let’s always think local first.”