THE changes we have all had to make to our lives over the past few months have been significant but as we get back to normal there is one thing we can all do together – help support local businesses.

Since lockdown, local businesses have worked hard to adapt, overcome and survive in ways that none of us thought possible and their ingenuity, revisions to the way they work and their compassion for everyone around them has been admirable.

Now it is time for your local paper to help in every way we possible can to ensure that we help the businesses in our towns and villages.

Love Local is a new campaign across the Ayrshire Weekly Press newspapers and websites to ensure that every single business has a voice, whether it is through a free listing, a business profile or a spotlight on the selfless work that has been carried out.

Over the next few weeks we will be asking for your help to ensure we cover all the bases. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more information.

North Ayrshire Council Leader Joe Cullinane said: “This has been an incredibly difficult and challenging few months for all of us.

“As lockdown eases and we can see some light at the end of the tunnel, it’s an opportunity for us to support our local businesses and help them get back on their feet.

“North Ayrshire’s economy is a fragile one, susceptible to big shocks and the pandemic has rocked local businesses.

“We recently launched our Community Wealth Building strategy which aims to use the public pound in North Ayrshire to support local businesses and create new democratic models of ownership, including worker co-operatives, to create good, well paid jobs.

“The need for local people to spend locally is an essential pillar of that strategy and we are supporting that need by urging people to ‘Keep it Local’.

“Local businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and support countless families – they need our support.”