02 July
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Independents account for around 65% of the approximate total of 290,000 retail outlets in the UK and are at the heart of local communities throughout the country.

Across West Lothian, there are a significant number and diverse range of independent businesses and retailers which have all had to display extreme resilience over the past year and more, due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

One way in which West Lothian Council supports local independent businesses is through the Shop Fund Improvement Grant.

The council-funded initiative offers local businesses the opportunity to apply for one-off grants of up to £750, subject to applications meeting the criteria.

Any interested businesses/retailers can find more information on the Shop Front Improvement Grant via the West Lothian Council website.

Executive councillor for development and transport Cathy Muldoon said: "We are pleased to be raising awareness around Independents Day UK 2021. If you are shopping this weekend then why don't you consider visiting some of the fantastic independent businesses and retailers which operate in your local area.

The pressure that businesses have been under for over a year now due to the pandemic has been enormous. They have shown tremendous adaptability and mental strength over this time. It is important that independent retailers and businesses continue to be supported as they are at the heart of our local communities. One of the ways in which we support them in West Lothian is through the council-backed Shop Front Improvement Grant and I would encourage all independent business owners to visit the relevant section of the council website to see if they are eligible for this support."

For more on Independents Day UK 2021 activities, visit Independents' Day UK website