Concern is being expressed about the long term impact on local shops and town centres of the coronavirus crisis.

Ness crofter Donald ‘Sweeney’ MacSween said on Twitter yesterday: “Talking to a delivery driver just now. Says every day during lockdown has been very busy, like Christmas. Last Tuesday was the busiest he’s seen. Lots buying stuff they’d normally buy locally but not going out. Warning for future of shops?”

In response on Twitter, Rhona Johnstone said: "I always buy meat and eggs from local butcher anyway and have bought some items from local businesses  @ishgaskincare @essenceofharris & @ASAPOTH to support them.
Have had to buy a fair bit of stuff online to help with my work though and Woodys and local posties have been great."

And Gail Tunnah said: "Most shops doing a sterling job. All my groceries from the Clachan delivered to my door. Lawnmower busted. Willowglen to rescue with free delivery from Woody's.  Excellent service."

The importance of local High Streets to community life has been highlighted by Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron.

Mr Cameron spoke after the Scottish Retail Consortium revealed there was a 12 per cent vacancy rate for High Street premises in March, even before the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

One of a range of recent printing jobs from Stornoway Media Centre

Mr Cameron, the Scottish Conservative Shadow Finance Secretary, said: “Our local High Streets in the Highlands and Islands are more than simply places where you can shop. They are incredibly important for community life.

“For many people, they are where we can meet friends and family, take part in activities and feel part of our community.

“They also host many of our traditional family businesses which contribute so much to their communities and to the distinctive character of our towns and villages.

“I am fearful that we could see a significant decline in the vibrancy of our High Streets if we don't urgently take some imaginative measures to support them.

”A lesson from the pandemic is surely that there is value in keeping things local.”

welovestornoway.com is trying to help businesses that are still trading to attract more customers via our special page at https://www.welovestornoway.com/index.php/zany-s-zone-8

And local printing work continues at Stornoway Media Centre - operating to strict social distancing guidelines, with the products being picked up by customers from the extensive porch area or delivered by our staff subject to suitable arrangements.

Among recent products have been a whole range of signs for NHS Western Isles, the Rudhach and Loch a Tuath magazines, a newsletter for Hebridean Housing Partnership and social distancing floor stickers for shops and offices.

Stornoway Media Centre, on James Street, occupies the former premises of N.D. Macleod electrical and is the base for EVENTS newspaper and welovestornoway.com as well as being available for many kinds of printing and signage.

For printing and signage work, contact Bryan via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For advertising, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.