October 2016

7 reasons to shop locally & 5 places to do it

Updated 2020

7 reasons & five places to shop local.

In the midst of the Covid19 pandemic there’s much talk of supporting local businesses – whether they’re online or bricks and mortar. It’s a topic I’ve banged on about a lot over the years. I first put this post together in 2016.

So here are 7 reasons why you should shop locally and 5 places to do it in Swindon.

It’s important to remember that the Small Business Saturday and any shopping local movement is not only about buying products but about buying services locally. Like business blogging by me for instance! And venue decoration by Fabulous Functions UK for another instance.

It all helps your local economy.

7 reasons & five places to shop local

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 mentioned above details 7 good reasons why you should shop locally and support small business. For the full info read the article but in brief:

1. Spending locally boosts the local economy. 

heap of coins shop local swindon

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. Shopping locally supports British entrepreneurs

Artisan markets, such as Bath Artisan Market, (https://www.facebook.com/TheBathArtisanMarket/ ) help foster the talents of the next generation of British designers and retailers.

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. That might 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. They can afford to slash prices and offer reduced costs. Yet, that makes it easy to waste money on products you end up not even liking all that much.

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 here.

But since I’ve been in business myself with AA Editorial Services and Born again Swindonian, 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!

1. 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.

See also: https://swindonian.me/2015/05/29/dapaolo-italian-delicatessen-swindon/

https://www.facebook.com/dapaoloitaliandelicafe/

2. Pink and Green Organic and Vegan 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.

See more about Pink and Green here.

Carol does a whole host of products and gift sets, the images below being only two.

3. Jo Rigden and SED Developments

See 3D Printing and SED Developments for funky, fun, fabulous 3D stuff. Like for instance:

4. Ishbel’s Wardrobe – Reshma Field, Swindon’s Sustainable Stylist

So 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

See also, Reshma Field Personal Stylist – or why you are what you wear and why it matters.

5) Simon Webb – Artisan pen maker

‘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.’

http://www.simon-webb.co.uk

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.

So there you have it – 7 reasons & five places to shop local in Swindon!