7 reasons to shop locally & 8 places to do it
With Small Business Saturday approaching closely followed by JC’s birthday now is as good a time as any to talk about shopping locally and give a shameless plug to some of my favourite local businesses.
One of them is a bricks and mortar business while the others all have an online presence. But they’re all Swindon-based so therefore count as shopping locally.
It’s important to remember that the Small Business Saturday and shopping local movement is not just about buying products but about buying services locally. It all helps your local economy.
Why shop local? – Use it or LOSE it
Well as this 2013 article from The Guardian says:
“From literary bestsellers to the latest gadgets, there is no denying that the internet makes it far easier to compare the price of shoping. But some retailers claim the shift is now towards the high street, and buying locally is the message behind Small Business Saturday.
Clare Rayner of Retail Champion says: “Christmas sales can account for between a third and nearly two-thirds of a retailer’s annual turnover. A bad Christmas can mark disaster for a small business. Sadly, it really is a case of ‘use it or lose it’.”
The article details 7 good reasons why you should shop locally and support small business. For the full info read the article but in brief:
- Spending locally boosts the local economy.
Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.
2) It’s an ethical choice: ‘… When you shop at local butchers, bakers, farm shops and green grocers, it is likely that a decent percentage of the produce has had a short field-to-fork journey. Along with supporting local farmers, it means the food is likely to contain more nutrients and have less packaging.’
3) You can get quirky and one-off gifts: ‘… Independent shops often stock items which are made locally and aren’t available elsewhere: buy a dress by a fledgling designer and there is little chance of turning up to the office Christmas party wearing the same as someone else..
4) It supports British Entrepreneurs: ‘Artisan markets help foster the talents of the next generation of British designers and retailers. “[They] are hotbeds of innovation,” says Mike Cooksedge, founder of SeeMyLocalMarket….’
5) Shopping locally builds communities: ‘Bookshops, cafes and craft shops often drum up custom by hosting events, from book groups to knitting clubs and children’s events. If the businesses are not supported, the local groups tend to disappear too…’
6) You might get a better deal or some good advice: ‘… Independent retailers can use their discretion to reward regular custom, and it can mean you get discounts on the items you actually want to buy, rather than being tempted by multi-buy offers in the big chains….’
7) Sometimes you can try before you buy: ‘Major retailers have the advantage of economies of scale and can afford to slash prices and offer reduced costs. However, it’s easy to waste money on products you end up not actually liking. …’
Where to shop locally in Swindon to support small businesses
Okay listeners. That’s the why. Now for the where.
Swindon benefits from all manner of independent businesses. On the streets of Swindon there are numerous independent coffee shops and restaurants many of which have been written about elsewhere on this blog.
But since I’ve been in business myself with AA Editorial Services I’ve come into contact with lots of fabulous small businesses.
So, I’ll tell you now of some of them I know and those I miss I’ll beg your pardon!
- Da Paolo Italian delicatessen on Commercial Road
Not only do they sell delicious coffee (among other things) it’s not a bad place for a gift. Debbie will put together a personalised food and drink hamper for you or throw some cellophane and ribbon round a bottle of their Prosecco or wine. Gift vouchers are also available.
2) Pink&Green Skincare: created and run by Carol Aplin Pink&Green is a purveyor of gorgeous organic skincare products. They’re a touch of luxury and quality at an acceptable and accessible price.
Carol does a whole host of products and gift sets, the images below being just two. The best thing to do is check out her website here: https://www.pinkandgreenskincare.co.uk
3) Jo Rigden and SED Developments – https://sed-developments.co.uk/home/
For funky, fun, fabulous 3D stuff. Like for instance:
4) Ishbels’ Wardrobe – no – not a cut down version of Ikea.
Run by Reshma Field from a gorgeous loft conversion in Old Town, Ishbel’s Wardrobe is an an independent colour analysis and wardrobe editing service. A lovely treat for yourself or a gift that keeps on giving in the form of a gift voucher. http://ishbelswardrobe.co.uk
5) Simon Webb – Artisan pen maker: http://www.simon-webb.co.uk
‘Simon Webb is a small artisan company creating beautiful, desirable but yet functional objects destined to be new family heirlooms.
Based in Wiltshire, the company has access to some truly special materials, making products that can be enjoyed for years and even generations to come.’
Read more about his nibs here: https://swindonian.me/2015/11/04/simon-webb-steam-museum-pens/ and https://swindonian.me/2015/10/22/simon-webb-handcrafted-pens/
As well as gorgeous writing implements of all kinds Simon also crafts cufflinks. An ideal gift methinks.