Strong place for local firms in economy

Online trading continued to be a threat to local shops and businesses in 2014, a business body has said.

Stuart Rennie, President of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, made his comments when reflecting on trade over the coming year.

Many retailers started their sales earlier than ever this year and adopted the US loss leader Black Friday events, which attracted shoppers in their thousands to local and national shops.

But many also turned to online deals.

Mr Rennie said: ‘‘There seems to be a definite trend of moving to online retailing with £1.5 billion being spent over the Black Friday weekend in the UK and this is backed up by Scottish Chamber of Commerce’s own sources.

‘‘There remains a strong place for shops and individual businesses and local services, and they will continue to perform well in a competitive