Balloon firm rises to the challenge and becomes 500th firm to pledge support to Buy North East

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The Buy North East campaign has smashed its target after an Aberdeen balloon design business became the 500th company to back the initiative.

The Balloon Studio signed up to the Buy North East Roll of Honour yesterday, and had just the right helium-filled floaters on hand to mark the occasion.

Aileen Murray, co-owner of the business, said: “It is exciting. It is a good idea to promote local businesses. We should be supporting each other as businesses because that is where you get the service and the personal touch.”

Ms Murray has been in the trade for 10 years, launching the Balloon Studio around a year ago in the basement of party goods shop, the Funhouse on George Street.

Balloons became the main focus after she and her business partner, Jeanette Carden, were asked to provide a table centre with balloons and the idea took flight.

The duo trained to become certified balloon artists and competed as part of team GB at the World Balloon Convention in Denver.

Ms Murray, who is philosophical about the impact of the oil and gas downturn, added: “Our tag line is: ‘We’ve got it, or we can get it, or we can make it’.

“It’s the same for everyone at the moment, you take things as it comes and you progress.”

Although the campaign has reached its initial target, businesses are still being urged to join in as the campaign enters its final weeks

All firms need to do is pledge support by putting Buy North East on their next board meeting agenda, then move at least one contract or piece of business to a local supplier.

Joanna Fraser, communications team leader at Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “We’ve been absolutely bowled over by the support that has been shown for the campaign and want to thank every one of the businesses that have signed up so far.

“So many businesses from so many different sectors seem to have taken Buy North East to their hearts and we’re thrilled the issue of local procurement has struck such a chord.

“This has been a fantastic initiative to be involved in, as it has sent out such a positive message we do things well in the north-east and support each other through good times and bad”.

The campaign is led by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council – plus Aberdeen Journals and Scottish Enterprise.

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