TRIBUTES have been paid to the businesses helping keep Helensburgh and Lomond's residents supplied through the coronavirus crisis.

While shops deemed 'non-essential' have been closed since Monday night on the instructions of the Prime Minister, those selling food and other vital daily supplies remain in operation – many of them doing so with radically different systems in a bid to control the spread of the pandemic.

Vivien Dance, chair of the Helensburgh and Lomond Chamber of Commerce, paid tribute to the town's independent businesses in a statement in which she also thanked staff at the town's Waitrose supermarket for their contribution – particularly in light of the store's impending closure at the beginning of May.

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Mrs Dance said: “The partners and staff at Waitrose are implementing a rigorous customer protection system which is very humbling to watch as they clean and control access to the store to ensure the wellbeing of everyone involved.

“This is the level of service we have enjoyed from the partners in Helensburgh Waitrose since it opened and reminds all of us what we will miss if the store closes.

“The chamber would support any initiative which helps to maintain food supplies to our community and wishes to say a huge thank you to everyone in the supply chain who is helping to maintain our needs in very difficult times.

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“A particular mention of our independent businesses, many of whom are working 12-hour shifts to keep supplies flowing and introducing a delivery system to their customers.

"Well done to all of you, and do keep safe. Everyone is very grateful for your continued service.

"Helensburgh is no different to towns across the nation at the moment in that it is eerily quiet and businesses are shuttered, but in Helensburgh, behind those closed doors, we still have tremendous community spirit, and that is working away non-stop.

“To those businesses who have had to close their doors, you are missed, and we do hope that the financial support you need starts to materialise."

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