Stirling’s traders are returning to business this week as Covid restrictions ease and retail and hospitality premises reopen.
Go Forth Stirling Business Improvement District (BID) is welcoming business owners and shoppers back to the city and has launched reopening guidance to help traders successfully navigate mandatory requirements.
The guidance document, which focuses on travel, hospitality and retail outlets, provides useful advice and support for business owners.
Go Forth Stirling BID Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith said: “We’re delighted to see Stirling return to life as Covid restrictions ease and we’re able to welcome traders, shoppers and visitors back into our wonderful city.
The BID team are doing everything we can to ensure economic recovery and keep Stirling thriving and hope the guidance document helps businesses work their way through all the mandatory requirements needed.
We don’t want businesses to feel overwhelmed as they return and urge BID members to contact us if they have questions or need reassurance.”
The BID unveiled its Street Stories project, which has transformed eight of Stirling’s empty shops into animated works of art, recently – just in time for reopening – and is launching a free Wi-Fi service covering the city centre next month.
Ms McRorie-Smith added: “We’re pleased with the public’s response to Street Stories and have received positive feedback which indicates the art trail is helping make Stirling a more visually appealing place. We’re now focused on looking at security in the city centre, addressing anti-social behaviour and dealing with concerns around improving the waste situation which can sometimes blight the city’s appearance.”
Meanwhile, business owners are looking forward to welcoming customers back to their premises – many of which have been given a revamp during lockdown.
The team at Fletcher’s bar and restaurant on Upper Craigs have been busy creating a beer garden so customers can enjoy outdoor drinks.
Director Adam Binnie said: “We’re super excited to be reopening and delighted that our customers will be able to enjoy our brand-new beer garden offering extra seating to enjoy cocktails al fresco. We already tried to place an order for some extra sunshine although for some reason a delivery could not be guaranteed!
“We also used our time while closed to freshen up our accommodation and we look forward to reopening our rooms at the end of May. The team at Fletcher’s wish all Go Forth Stirling businesses a happy and successful reopening.”
The owners of Hotel Colessio have also invested in a refurbishment programme renovating the hotel’s dining room and decorating the bedrooms.
General Manager John Stirrat said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming back guests and seeing all our staff come back in. Everyone is excited about getting back to the job of looking after people which is what we are all about.
We had a great bounce back when we reopened last August so we’re hoping for the same again and are fully prepared for everyone coming back.”
Christine Montgomery, who owns children’s boutique Kids @ Baker Street, is planning some giveaways for the shop’s reopening. She also recently held a photoshoot for customers’ children and has been displaying their photos on social media to promote the store’s clothing range.
She said: “I’m excited to reopen – a bit nervous as well – but I’ve got a positive feeling about it and it will be great to have people back in the shop. We’ve been lucky that our website and social media kept us going with online sales during the lockdown and I have so much gratitude to our customers whose support has been fantastic.
We did a photoshoot with about a dozen of our customers’ children near Stirling Castle – it was a great day which the kids enjoyed and we’ve been using their pictures on social media. We’re going to have some fun days as we welcome people back this week with some random giveaways and cupcakes and I’m just looking forward to seeing everyone.”