This year, small businesses need us more than ever. After a tough trading time over the last 18 months, Christmas 2021 is an opportunity to revitalise small businesses by shopping thoughtfully and independently.
If each one of us buys JUST ONE CHRISTMAS GIFT from an independent shop this year, we'll redistribute £2.7 billion between us! Just think what that would mean to thousands of small businesses in British towns and villages. It's heartening to know we can all make a real positive difference just by choosing to support our indies.
Online and In Real Life - Choose Small
It might feel easier to just go to one of the giant online retailers and get all your shopping there, but it doesn't do anything to help our villages and small towns stay alive. Flourishing shops are the lifeblood of any community but they will close without customers. If you have great local independents then of course shop with them. But even if you can't find them on your own doorstep, you can still shop with smaller retailers all over the country via their websites. You'll be supporting a community and jobs somewhere in the UK and that's a great thing in itself. So buying something is an obvious way to help, but what if you want to do more?
Spread the word
Encourage your friends and family to support small shops too. Tell people about your favourite independent stores, there are so many amazing ones out there. Word of mouth will always be the best from of advertising.
Write a Review
Reviews from happy customers not only help boost new customer numbers for small shops, they also boost the morale of the business. This year especially, small shop owners have had to work hard to adapt, to try anything and everything to keep their businesses alive. It's been a tough time and a positive review can be just the tonic to keep workers motivated.
Follow them on Social Media
Every time you comment and share an independent shop's posts you're helping them reach more people. It's incredibly tough for small business to keep on top of social media. It's so time consuming and these business owners have a real shop to keep beautifully presented and customers to serve! Not to mention if they're also keeping an online shop up to date, picking and packing orders and responding to customer enquiries too! Taking time out of that schedule for social media is a big commitment, so make it worthwhile by engaging with their posts in as many ways as possible.
Your Support Matters
However you choose to support small shops, know that it really does help. You can of course always vote with your money. Vote for the small shops on your doorstep. Vote for diversity on the High Street. Vote for thriving local communities. On behalf of all small business owners and their teams, I'd like to extend a truly heartfelt thank you for making those choices that really matter to independent shops.