With fish straight from the harbour and known for the best chips in town, award-winning fish and chip shop McLeod’s has a well-earned reputation amongst locals and visitors to Inverness. Owner David McLeod has run the business for six years, as well as an outside catering company. In early 2021, McLeod’s Fish & Chips was named as one of the best 50 in the UK by leading trade publication Fry Magazine.

Prior to the pandemic, McLeod’s was open seven days a week, and the shop was often bustling with hungry customers. The arrival of Covid-19 however meant an overnight closure for the shop, leaving David and his team of up to 10 people without an income.

As a customer of Goldwells for many years, David knew he could rely on Nick Willetts and the Inverness Goldwells team to advise him on the best steps to take once the doors were shut. Firstly David was able to access the Government’s furlough scheme to ensure that the workers all had money coming in, which was a relief to everyone in the team. Nick also made David aware of the various grants and loans which were available to small businesses, providing al the information and documentation needed to apply for Government support.

Just four weeks after being forced to close the shop, David was able to open again for takeaways, with secure COVID-compliance procedures in place. “We were luckier than many, as we were only closed for a month. We are a family run business – I personally go to Peterhead to collect fish straight from the harbour, and I am also one of the cooks. We are a great team and everyone is prepared to muck in wherever necessary. As we are a takeaway business primarily, we made changes for ordering and collecting and our customers were pleased to come back to us.

“Nick and the Goldwells team manage our business accounts, personal accounts and payroll. Having them behind me has been important especially during this last year. One thing I really appreciate is how easy they are to get hold of. I don’t every have to wait for information and advice, which in my business is crucial.”

David is optimistic about the future, so much so that he and his wife Anne Marie Fraser have just opened a café the city. Am Bothan on Southside Road will be run by Anne Marie, following the same principles of high-quality customer service, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and tasty treats.