Monday, 5 November 2018

Supporting independents this Christmas

Supporting independents this Christmas
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Christmas is an absolute financial minefield for everyone involved. As much as we all love the season of glitz and giving, let’s be honest, it comes at a serious financial pinch that lasts well into that elusive January payday. Some of us will know exactly what sum will be landing in our bank accounts during that final working week of the month but if you own an independent business? Who knows what that could be.

I’m a big believer in supporting independents as you know that with every purchase, that’s someone getting a little closer to their target that month and they will feel the direct impact of every sale. Here are a few small ways that you can support independents over the festive period.

Buy your Christmas cards on Etsy
I mean, fair enough, buy a multipack from Card Factory for the masses, but your special cards for close friends, family and partners, why not get something a little more personal, with a sassy slogan from a creative seller on Etsy? It’s a great opportunity to get the kind of card they’ll keep for years rather than a standard ‘to my sister’ card from Marks and Spencer.

Make your annual Christmas meet up in a non-chain restaurant
We all do it, we get together with a group of friends back home in that weird period of time between Christmas and New Year where nobody knows what day it is, so why not go somewhere that isn’t a chain? Whether it’s the local family-run Italian (La Piazza in York, I’m looking at you) or the local pub you grew up in, head to somewhere that isn’t part of a massive corporation.

Take a break from Christmas shopping in an independent coffee shop
It’s so easy to be lured into Starbucks with the promise of a red cup and a shot of gingerbread syrup, but when those takeaway cups are gracing the ‘gram over every influencer and their Instagram husband, take it to an independent. Tea from a china cup and homemade Christmas bakes from an independent coffee shop looks cuter and tastes better. In Leeds, I’d recommend If and Mrs Athas in the city centre, but if you fancy nipping out for a coffee and a catch up, Temple Coffee is incredible.

Get your flowers from the market
Don’t get me wrong, supermarkets have great options but your local market will be cheaper and have more choice. The market in Leeds is fantastic and you get the full service of a florist at a fraction of the price. This works for when you’re visiting someone at Christmas and taking a gift or going extra on the dinner table with a floral centrepiece.

Buy your booze from local sellers
Again, it’s very easy to be lured in with supermarket offers but even if it’s just one bottle of spirits brewed locally (I can recommend the gin brewed at Harewood House, it’s incredible), or beer from a local brewery, why not offer your guests something a little different when they come to visit?

Take your hangover to a food truck
If you think you’ll get through December without an office hangover, more than likely, you’re seriously kidding yourself. I’m lucky that Trinity Kitchen is on my doorstep at work with a whole host of permanent fixtures like Tortilla, Chicago Rib Shack and Pho, and a regularly rotating set of pop up food trucks. It basically covers off every hangover craving that you and your work pals could possibly have.

How will you be supporting independents this Christmas? Let me know in the comments!

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