BUSINESSES in Shawlands have been offered support during the coronavirus lockdown, following a spate of vandalism and break ins in the last few weeks.

MyShawlands, the local Business Improvement District, has now announced support for businesses which are part of the BID group, including a £250 grant to help with protecting premises.

BID group manager, Lisa McLaughlin, said: "We have launched this new initiative to help support businesses during this time because, unfortunately, we had started seeing a trend of businesses being vandalised or broken into during the lockdown.

"It's pretty mind boggling - everyone is supposed to be in lockdown and this is still happening."

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Break ins have occurred at businesses in the South Side community over the past two weeks, with shops such as The Picture Framer being forced to board up the once bustling high street to protect their building.

In a Facebook post, The Picture Framer wrote to customers: "Feeling sad just looking at this photo but after seeing a few warning posts from other businesses about damage & attempted damage to properties, we had to take this option to protect our shop."

Lisa said: "It's really sad that we've had to come to this, but the most important thing is we protect the businesses.

"We've offered businesses that are a part of the BID group £250 which could go towards the cost of boarding the business up, lock, cameras, whatever they need to secure their premises.

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"We also want to thank all the members of the community who have been looking out for any damage being done to businesses during this time."

But for Lisa and the businesses of Shawlands, the plan is to bring a bit of colour back to their high street, even in the hardest of times.

"We've been inspired by all the rainbow pictures and messages to the NHS, so the plan is to decorate the boarded up businesses with messages.

"It'll be something to make people laugh or smile while their on their daily walk."

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