Respecting that public health takes primacy, these are challenging times for our hospitality and retail businesses and it is essential that Scottish Government’s proposed £100 million Business Support Fund is speedily brought to the table at a time when many of our city centre businesses have never needed it more. The wider challenge to the city centre high street is well documented and Aberdeen Inspired will continue to lobby governments, at all levels, for further and more sustained support for the heart of our city.

It is also important to emphasise that Aberdeen city centre remains open and we so much appreciate the north-east public’s continued support given to our fantastic offering of shops, restaurants, hotels, entertainment, and cultural venues. The Christmas trading period is critical to the economic prosperity of so many of our businesses and we trust the public will continue to behave responsibly and enjoy all that is on offer.

Ewan McLean, Evening and Night-Time Economy Manager at Aberdeen Inspired said, “The First Minister’s call last week for Christmas office parties and gatherings to be cancelled has had a dramatic and devastating effect on many in the hospitality sector. Cancellations come at a great loss for restaurants and bars who still have to pay for the associated food, drink and staff costs. These businesses need our support now more than ever, and we urge companies and groups reconsider rescheduling any bookings instead of making cancellations and if this is not feasible then to look at other ways of supporting our great city centre, for instance, through buying the Aberdeen Gift Card which support hundreds of local businesses and thousands of local jobs.”

Aberdeen Inspired will continue to offer guidance and support to our business where we can. Please do get in touch if you need help or simply want to share your experience, thoughts or views.