VIVIEN Dance, chair of the Helensburgh and Lomond Chamber of Commerce, has this week's community column.

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Like all businesses just now, the Chamber can only take each week at a time; what we write today on many issues could be overridden by virus-driven changes in the next few days, but there is certainly one message that must be recorded as we work through the ongoing impact of Covid-19.

That message is a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who is supporting the Shop Local campaign and helping our businesses to generate some income and thereby sustain the re-opening of our town centre.

The Shop Local message has certainly been taken on board by the good folk of Helensburgh.

Over the past few weeks the town has been shown at its best as people have determined to spend time and money in the town to help many businesses bounce back from a trading year like no other as the coronavirus has turned life as we know it on its head.

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Thank you to everyone for rallying round to let our businesses know that they are appreciated and local residents will do what they can to help them move through what is still an uphill struggle for many of them and all their staff.

Six months on from the start of lockdown we are confronted by fearful scenarios featuring on every screen we watch, but there is something reassuring about a visit to the town, seeing people we know, discussing what is happening in our world with casual acquaintances as we wait patiently in line for the service and range of products that we can buy on our doorstep, then enjoying a chat with the staff, like meeting an old friend.

Everyone who is helping to bring the buzz back to town should be proud of playing a part in this fightback.

It is a tangible and palpable way of measuring community spirit, many towns would be envious of Helensburgh’s resilience.

Well done everyone, keep up the good work as the season, but not our local approach, changes.

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