First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this afternoon announced that shops that sell products other than food will be able to re-open from Monday 29 June, but hospitality firms like pubs, restaurants and cafes would have to wait until at least July before re-opening even if they have outdoor facilities.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the news that high streets would re-open and urged Scots to use their spending power to back independent shops. However FSB urged the Scottish Government to provide more reliable information for businesses, as many independent businesses had expected a swifter timetable for re-opening.
Colin Borland, FSB’s director of devolved nations, said: “Up and down Scotland, independent retailers will welcome the news that they’ve been given a date on which they’ll be able to re-open. We’d urge people to back these local bookshops, corner shops and boutiques because they need your spending power like never before.
“However some shopkeepers will be disappointed that this re-opening is more than a week away, when many were primed for Monday. And those that operate restaurants, pubs and cafes will be bitterly disappointed that they’re waiting at least another fortnight before they can welcome back customers even if they have outdoor facilities.
“We understand the need to exercise caution. But the Scottish Government must provide sharper detail for businesses about the re-opening programme. Some businesses will have wasted some of their precious reserves preparing to open their doors in the next few days, when actually they won’t be open for weeks. For example, pubs with beer gardens will be understandably frustrated – especially if they spent money getting cellars restocked.”