4 Ways to Support Local Businesses in Your Area This Christmas
Nobody really needs reminding that we’re living through an incredibly difficult cost of living crisis. And even at Christmas, many of us will be looking to lower our costs. When people seek to spend less, very often it can be the smallest businesses that suffer. Small independent companies that perhaps don’t have the funds to barely break even for a year or ride it out can often be hard hit by economic downturns.
Christmas could be make or break for some of the smallest businesses in the UK. So if you’re spending anyway (whether on gifting or festive fun) spending with some of the incredible independent businesses in your area could be one way to support them.
Here are 4 ways to go about it.
Send Flowers Through Local Florists
Wherever in the country you plan to send flowers, there’s most likely independent florists there who will do an incredible job.
In recent years we’ve seen the rise of more faceless online flower delivery - where you order online, the flowers are boxed and delivered by a courier like Evri or DPD.
But, in our view, it’s no substitute for a hand tied bouquet delivered to your door by a local florist.
Sites like Direct2florist offer up the best of both worlds. They allow online ordering wherever in the UK you want to send flowers and in just a couple of clicks. But then they work with independent florists in those areas. So they send your order through, the florist fulfills and delivers it. So you get easy ordering and support your local florists too.
Order Tipsy Tipples from Local Distillers and Breweries
For those of us who tend to buy more boozy beverages at Christmas, whether for ourselves, our Christmas Day guests or as gifts, why not consider looking for local distillers and breweries near you?
You might be surprised to find how many people are making stunning beers and spirits right on your doorstep.
There are so many perks to buying your drinks from local places like this. First of all, you get to support these incredible businesses. But also, you end up with unique drinks your guests or gift recipients probably haven’t had before. Some of the finest beers and spirits come from the little known places you don’t see on the supermarket shelves.
Lots of us will eat our over the festive season. We have tons and tons of chain restaurants to choose from. But perhaps one of the best things we can do to help some of the awesome local eateries and bars in our areas is to spend our money there.
Maybe we could make a concerted effort this year to spend at least some of our festive fun budgets in the restaurants, cafes and bars closest to home. You may already have a firm favourite or two. But take a look online for independent restaurants in your area and you will most likely be surprised by how many you’ve not heard of!
Take an Independent Shopping Day
For both small and bigger businesses alike, the High Street is a tricky place to be. Competing with online retailers like Amazon is incredibly difficult. But for the smallest independent businesses amongst us, many of the physical store retailers don’t have the back up plan of a high performing website selling online as well. For some, it’s market stalls and small shops through which they make all of their income.
So as tempting as it is (particularly when it has seemingly rained for a millennium) to sit in with a hot drink and order everything online, why not make a social day of shopping local. Grab a loved one and go hunting out the independent retailers in your area and do some gift shopping. You could even stop for lunch or coffee in an independent cafe. As well as some quality time with that loved one and a great day out, you’ll also be putting cash back into your local economy and supporting those businesses too.
There are some amazing big businesses in the UK, no doubt. And nobody is saying we shouldn’t support those too. After all, many of them employ thousands of people! But we absolutely love the diversity of Britain’s independent business scene and think it’s vital that we all continue to support them - particularly in times of financial uncertainty.
Read more: The community power of family-run businesses
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