Go Forth Stirling has been named a Regional Champion in the Scotland Loves Local campaign’s High Street Heroes Awards.
Stirling’s Business Improvement District (BID), was nominated for the “remarkable work” implemented to support Stirling’s business community through the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Go Forth team is led by Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith and Business Engagement Officer Jitka Fleglova who delivered a series of initiatives, including free online training courses, over the last six months.
We received several nominations for the High Street Heroes honours which recognise people, businesses and organisations who have gone above and beyond to support their communities through the coronavirus restrictions.
Ms McRorie-Smith said: “With only two employees, everything Go Forth Stirling has done was aimed at helping our businesses survive the pandemic and come out the other side thriving. We believe we’ve been successful in the support provided and have received some incredibly positive feedback from businesses who’ve seen us as something of a lifeline during difficult times.”
“We are determined to be there for our traders and incredibly grateful to Scotland Loves Local for recognising our efforts in uncharted territory and unprecedented times.”
“Being named a Regional Champion is an honour which recognises the support we’ve delivered to Stirling business owners and encourages us to develop more initiatives and projects.”
Go Forth Stirling Chair David Black welcomed the award and paid tribute to the hard work carried out by the team during the pandemic. He said: “It’s wonderful that Danielle and Jitka have been recognised for their concrete support to Stirling’s businesses during very difficult times.”
“They have really made a difference, come up with some inspirational ideas and always made themselves available to help our city traders. I’m proud to see Stirling BID and its team honoured as High Street Heroes.”
The Scotland Loves Local campaign is spearheaded by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) with the support of the Scottish Government. The High Street Heroes awards scheme saw Regional Champions recognised in each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas – alongside others who were Highly Commended – after more than 1,200 nominations were made.
Scotland’s Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell praised all those honoured. She said: “I would like to thank the High Street Heroes for going the extra mile to help their communities during the coronavirus pandemic. I am pleased the Scottish Government has been able to support these awards through our funding for Scotland’s Towns Partnership. They typify the kind of community spirit that has supported people and improved lives.”
STP’s Chief Officer, Phil Prentice, said: “The dedication with which people across Scotland have supported those around them during the pandemic has been remarkable. We’re delighted to shine a spotlight on the amazing difference our High Street Heroes have made and thank them for all they have done.”
“They are an inspiration – local people helping their communities and customers like never before. They highlight the vital part that high street businesses play in our lives and why we must support them to ensure they continue to be there for us.”
Go Forth Stirling Business Improvement District (BID) represents close to 400 local businesses with a key objective of delivering projects and services which improve the area’s trading environment to benefit businesses, shoppers and visitors.
During the pandemic, the organisation implemented a host of initiatives including cutting the annual levy payment; the provision of protective equipment; digital grants; online training courses; PR campaigns and a comprehensive online business directory.
The team is currently working on a new initiative designed to encourage consumers to shop local and discover what Stirling’s thriving independent scene has to offer. It will create Independent Stirling as a brand to highlight local businesses and promote the stories and personalities behind them.
The BID was set up in September 2017 following a vote among the city’s traders and runs for an initial five-year term.