A Highlands and Islands MSP is urging people to support their local shops and businesses as much as possible during the coronavirus emergency.
Jamie Halcro Johnston said: “There have already been many heart-warming examples across the Highlands and Islands of people coming together to help vulnerable neighbours.
“In some instances, this has been local businesses going the extra mile and, within very short timescales, innovating their services to set up delivery options so that they can keep local people supplied with groceries and other essentials.
“But there will be many other local businesses which will have no choice but to close to the public, a move which could have massive implications for their cash-flow and liquidity.
“However, although the Government is introducing measures designed to help businesses get through this crisis, there is a lot that we, as individuals, can do to help as well.
“Many local businesses are still operating online, and more are setting up online shops to keep themselves trading. Buying products online or by phone from local businesses, as well as buying vouchers and gift tokens which can be redeemed later, is a great way of supporting them through these tough times and giving our local shops a big vote of confidence.
“We must do all we can to help secure the future of our small businesses wherever we live in the Highlands and Islands.
“They are part and parcel of our local communities and provide the backbone of the economy. We would all be much poorer without them.”