Business Growth Stands Firm in Stirling Despite the Pandemic

Stirling’s business community has continued to grow and thrive over the past two years despite major difficulties caused by the pandemic and restrictions.


More than 40 new businesses have opened in the city since March 2020 – most of them run by independent traders. They have been, and continue to be, championed by the city’s BID (Business Improvement District) Go Forth Stirling which has introduced a range of projects and initiatives to support business owners.

Go Forth Stirling Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith is delighted with the spirit shown by the city’s business community through such tough times. She said: “I’m thrilled to see that, despite all the challenges of lockdowns, restrictions and the tricky winter period we have just experienced, the majority of our businesses have managed to thrive and so many new businesses have opened.

It takes a lot of bravery and confidence to make that leap of faith during such a challenging period and I’m pleased to see that over 40 businesses have opened since March 2020 with more set to come on board. It’s also amazing to see just how many independent businesses Stirling has – we have a fantastic spirit of local entrepreneurship which sets Stirling apart from other cities.

It illustrates the confidence people have in Stirling and their trust and commitment to the city and we are reassured to see business growth stand firm here. As Stirling’s BID, we are committed to building that confidence and doing all we can to help businesses combat the challenges they face. And we can assure our business community that we will continue to be there for them and support them moving forward.”

At least 44 businesses have opened in the city centre since the pandemic began including German Doner Kebab in Murray Place, A Wee Favour in Friars Street, Green Earth Lovers in Maxwell Place and Unica Beauty Studio in Barnton Street. A host of shops have begun trading in the Thistles such as Little Bambino, Brand Outlets, the Fragrance Shop and Centre Stage Dancewear.

And Stirling’s historic Arcade has seen a similar boost with a range of diverse new retailers including Monny’s Gelateria, Oscar’s wine bar, Bella Zena Italian café and Creative Kitchens.

Several new shops – Cafe Sixty Four on Upper Craigs, Janna’s Baking on Port Street and Cafe Valentino on Friars Street – are also due to open soon. Most of the new businesses are independent retailers whose diversity is recognised and celebrated in Go Forth’s Independent Stirling campaign.

Last August, Go Forth commissioned a promotional video showcasing Stirling’s flourishing independent scene as part of the Independent Stirling campaign which highlights independent businesses and their owners. The short film, voiced by Stirling Makar Laura Fyfe, features a range of the city’s businesses including Stirling Optical, Ginger Roots, Clever Clogs, Chester’s Coffee House and Tinkerbells Emporium.

Meanwhile the Independent Stirling website has been set up specifically to promote the city’s unique stores – – and independent businesses can easily be identified around the city by the ‘I’m In’ window stickers they display.

Other initiatives launched by the BID include online training programmes; digital grants and shopfront improvement grants; installing attractive flower displays throughout the city centre and the Street Stories initiative which transformed empty shop windows into animated works of art.

Stirling’s BID was set up in September 2017 and currently represents more than 600 local businesses with a key objective of delivering projects and services which improve the area’s trading environment to benefit businesses, shoppers and visitors.

The company goes to ballot in May in the hope of securing a further five-year term which would allow it to continue delivering initiatives for Stirling’s business community and funding current projects such as free Wi-Fi in the city centre and a team of Ambassadors.


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