6 Ways to Support Small Businesses This Christmas
Michael Bublé is back on the radio. The decorations are edging themselves out of the attic. The mulled wine is brewing. It can only mean one thing: the festive season has arrived!
It probably won’t come as a surprise that we’re all about supporting small businesses. And while we don’t want to harp on about the other ‘C’ word, Christmas really is such an important time for business owners to build back their sales.
Because there’s no way around it - small business owners were hit hard when the pandemic arrived in 2020, and this year has been really up and down for a lot of us. So, why not ‘do your bit’ this Christmas by swapping out some of your big purchases for something independent?
The good news is that this doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it will make for a richer, more personal shopping experience. For starters, you could:
Visit Christmas markets
Spread the word
Sign up to a class
Shop local for Christmas dinner
Treat someone to dinner or a show
Make it your mission to shop small for all your gifts
Let’s explore 6 of the ways that you can support small businesses this Christmas.
1. Visit Christmas markets
Now that we’re able to get ‘out and about’, why not schedule a visit to a Christmas market?
Christmas markets are a gorgeous way for local makers to showcase their products. Whether this is for actual gifts or festive trinkets (think cards, baubles and eco-wrapping), you’re bound to find something that catches your eye. Plus, you can make a day or evening out of it. Picture it: music playing, fairy lights twinkling, your loved ones beside you… It’s moments like this that we all missed last year!
And if you don’t quite feel ready for the hustle and bustle of the Christmas market crowds, keep an eye out for any online markets. There’s been a boom in online events the past two years, and we don’t see this disappearing anytime soon.
Not sure where to start? Take a look at this guide from National Trust on Christmas markets and winter fairs.
And for those of you who live anywhere near London or Windsor, I highly recommend Duck Pond Markets for local, ethical and sustainable shopping. They now regularly run markets across 7 sites in the South-East and they always feature fantastic local sellers - they have made certain that only products that are ethically, locally or sustainably made, sourced or produced, are being sold at their markets. I actually managed to do 90% of my Christmas shopping at their Christmas markets in 2019!
2. Spread the word.
A few kind words can go a long way.
If you want to give a small business a boost, shout about them. You can do this through reviews, recommendations, shout outs on social media and talking about them with your peers. Finally, those endless WhatsApp groups can be put to good use!
3. Sign up to a class.
Creators and makers are great at putting on Christmas workshops, events and classes. From wreath making to bauble painting, watercolour painting right on through to festive fitness classes, there is an enormous amount out there if you’re prepared to look for it.
So, treat yourself (or that special person) to a festive-themed class. Better yet, get a few of your friends or family together and do one together. You’ll find an abundance of seasonal opportunities both on and offline; the only problem is choosing which one you want to do first!
Looking for a workshop that feels good? Browse the latest workshops from Recess Living, creative workshops to help you craft your calm.
Or if you're looking for something outside London, Find A Craft is a great directory for finding small businesses that offer crafting courses and workshops across the UK.
4. Shop local for your Christmas dinner.
Look, we know it’s super easy to pop out to the supermarket and pick up all your roast dinner supplies. But let’s face it: those shops are doing just fine.
Instead, this year head over to your local grocer, butcher, marketplace or farmer. Yes, you get the benefit of knowing you’ve supported a local seller, but you also will probably get way more bang for your buck and a far tastier experience on the big day. Keep in mind that if you’re on the lookout for a turkey, you may want to reserve one in advance - they’re prone to selling out.
5. Treat someone to dinner or a show.
The hospitality and entertainment industry has suffered a huge deal throughout the pandemic. Even with incentives, many restaurants, bars and independent theatres have had to close down. You can celebrate the return of these gorgeous experiences by… Well, paying them a visit!
Theatre tickets make the perfect Christmas gift, and a meal out with colleagues is a great way to get into the festive spirit. Take this support a step further by seeking out the indie spots that might have struggled the most throughout you-know-what.
6. Make it your mission to only shop small.
We had to save the biggie ‘til last, didn’t we?
The best way to support small businesses this Christmas is to do ALL of your Christmas shopping from them.
See it as a challenge - how can you hunt out independent suppliers to suit everyone on your Christmas list?
Of course, we think that our ethical gift boxes make the perfect Christmas present. They’re all split up into different categories, with boxes curated for wellness, calm tranquility, vegan pals, new mummas… You name it, we’ve got a box for it.
In addition, we only work with small businesses; it’s a huge part of our own purpose as a business. Every brand in our collection is sustainably minded with a beautiful, nourishing ethos. Basically, they’re pretty epic.
And if you’re looking for a box that totally epitomises those cosy Christmas vibes, take a look at our brand new Hytte Box. Bliss!
Are you thinking of shopping small this Christmas? Take a look at our ‘How it works’ process and find out what makes an Alice & Peg gift so special.