AS Scotland cautiously reopens for business after the latest lockdown, there are reasons for optimism, according to Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Stuart Patrick.

Speaking on the Go Radio Business Show with Hunter & Haughey, Mr Patrick CBE noted: “April was a month of anticipation and planning for the first major step in opening up. Non-essential shops got going again and so did hospitality, albeit under pretty severe restrictions.”

In Glasgow early feedback from the Chamber’s retail members has been positive.

“The footfall started strongly, with some queuing but a general appreciation the city council has done its best to spring clean the streets and get the city centre back into shape.”

However, there was one fly in the soup, so to speak, for hospitality.

“Our hospitality businesses were less impressed with the confusion created by Scottish Government guidance. This seemed to make big changes on how the one metre distancing rule works.

“It depends on whether you think the rules mean tables or the people at the tables should be one metre apart. That’s where the confusion has arisen.”

Mr Patrick also had advice for anyone worrying about safety in Glasgow city centre.

“Think about coming in during the week because most offices are not going to be opened until at least late June. So footfall will likely be calmer Monday to Friday.”

He also revealed Glasgow City Council and Chamber of Commerce, working through the city centre task force, will begin work this month to assess how much the pandemic is going to affect future business for shops, offices, hotels, and the night-time economy – and what policies could convert empty properties to fresh uses.

Mr Patrick offered one final positive note. “We welcome the announcement of Scotland’s one thousandth placement on to the UK Government’s Kickstart scheme for young people.

“A source of pride for us at Glasgow Chamber is that we have started 115 of those with members and have another 300 places ready to go.

“Our members really are stepping up when it comes to helping the young get into the world of work.”