The importance of supporting local businesses has been stressed by an East Kilbride beauty salon owner.

Marie Wilson owns and runs Natural You Beauty, in the town’s Kittoch Street and was originally forced to shut in March due to the lockdown restrictions.

After being allowed to reopen in July with a raft of new measures and procedures in place to keep clients and staff safe, Marie has yet again been forced to close the salon under Level 4 restrictions as she isn’t classed as an essential business.

Marie told the East Kilbride News: “Obviously I’m disappointed I’ve had to shut my doors yet again.

“I am just hoping we are allowed to reopen on December 12 but, in the meantime, whilst we are closed, we have just been thinking out the box and really focusing on maintaining a social media presence.

“But times are tough, everyone is finding it difficult.

“Christmas can be a difficult time of the year for small local businesses every year, never mind in the middle of a pandemic.

“In the Village there’s a lot of shops and businesses been forced to close down, places that were shut down during lockdown,

“It’s vital these places survive. If we can all do our bit to shop locally this year and help businesses out, it could get them through January and February and hopefully by then things will resemble a little more like normality.

“Shopping local is important every year, but it’s especially important this year. “

The salon has been forced to shut once again

In a bid to keep cash flowing and encourage locals to spend their money locally, Marie and her team of nine staff have created a number of special offers that will run up until Christmas.

Marie added: “Normally we do Black Friday deals but this year we are doing an advent type offer where every day from the start of December until Christmas we will run a special offer.

“Businesses are having to get creative this year and really think of ways on how to get money in the till.

“It’s important to appreciate this extra effort that people in our town are going to.

“So before you go and do your online Christmas shopping, have a walk through the Village, pop in to the gift shops, the butchers, the salons and even pick up a voucher.

“These aren’t big chains you are supporting, these people aren’t just your customers or clients, they’re your neighbours and your community.

“We need to support one another to make sure we all get through this together.”

Natural You in the Village

And pledging their support to our campaign is East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani.

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The SNP MSP told the News: “This is a fantastic campaign to get behind. We’re really lucky here in East Kilbride as we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to independent retailers.

“The effects of the pandemic have undoubtedly hit small businesses hard, which is why it’s more important than ever to shop local where we can. Local venues and restaurants may be giving out vouchers which would make perfect stocking fillers.

“I know I’ll certainly be keeping my eye out for gift ideas from local retailers and urge as many others to do the same – I know local businesses would be so very appreciative.”