Small Business Saturday is coming up on Saturday 4th December so we thought this was a great opportunity to tell you all about the importance of shopping with small businesses and independent brands this Christmas – about why it’s great for us, for the economy and most importantly, what’s in it for you. We are huge small businesses supporters at Create Gift Love and we’re all about spreading the joy of shopping small far and wide – we reckon it probably makes a bigger difference than you realise. Here are 8 great reasons to shop small this Christmas.
1. Find unique items you won’t spot elsewhere
Small businesses fill their shelves, stalls and websites with unique, original items that you won’t find on the high street, department stores or certain well known online retailers. They curate collections of unusual products they know their customers will truly love and they make new ideas happen, with creative designs and custom-made items that are one of a kind. Giving the gift of small business treasures that your loved ones have never seen before will guarantee a real surprise come Christmas Day – life would be boring if we all shopped in the same place.
2. Every customer is valued and appreciated
Every order makes a big difference to a small business which means that customers are genuinely valued and rewarded. Your feedback is listened to, your reviews are read and responded to, and you receive brilliant customer service as a result. Small businesses rely on word of mouth, genuine recommendations and return custom so they do everything they can to make sure their customers have the very best experience. We couldn’t do all this without you and we’re so grateful every time you choose to shop with us.
3. It boosts the economy
Shopping with independents and small local businesses has a real and much-needed impact on the local economy. Research from Indie Retail shows that for every £1 spent with independent businesses, up to 70p circulates back into their local economy, whereas when shopping with corporate retailers and massive chains it’s often as little as 5p. Holly & Co. also calculated that if we each buy just one Christmas gift from an independent business this year, we will reallocate a vital £2.7billion into the economy. It’s the small brands that have struggled the most in the last couple of years and Christmas shopping is what keeps many afloat. Your orders can help with that.
4. You're supporting a dream
It sounds like a cliché, but when you shop with a small business you really are supporting someone’s dream. Independent brands are often born from hobbies and passions, and you can really see how much a small business owner cares from how much love they pour into their work. Small business owners do what they do for the love of it, not for huge profits or fame and fortune, and every order means that they can keep their dream alive for another day.
5. The sense of community
Whether it’s a local community or a digital one, being a small business supporter can really feel like you are part of something special. Community feedback helps to shape the business and for many small businesses, the customers are as much a part of the business journey as their team is. Whether you’ve contributed to an Instagram survey or commented on a shop window display, your feedback has made something happen.
6. It's better for the planet
A lot of the time small businesses = small product lines, which in turn is better for the planet as it leads to less waste and overproduction destined for landfill. Finding a small business that makes to order or manufactures in the UK in particular is a great way to ensure your shopping basket has a small carbon footprint. Here at Create Gift Love, all our products are handmade to order from sustainably sourced natural materials here in the UK, which means we only produce what is needed for our customers and don’t end up with lots of leftover stock to dispose of.
Shopping with small businesses on your local high street also helps to minimise your carbon footprint, especially if you’re within walking distance.
7. You get a personal service
You get a personal service when you shop with a small business. Far from a faceless corporations run by boards and shareholders, small businesses have real people at the heart of them who know and understand every aspect of their business. Small teams know their products inside out, they will know who designed and made them, who packed them and who served their customers, so if there’s ever an issue it’s easy to get to the root of the problem. Small businesses get to know their customers far better than a corporation’s algorithm ever can so even if you’re shopping online and have never met in person, you feel as though you’re supporting a friend.
8. It feels GOOD
And the best reason for shopping with a small business at Christmas? It feels really good. All the reasons above give you a buzz when you hit ‘order’ or leave an independent shop with a smile that you just don’t get when ordering from Amazon. It feels good to know you’re not lining the pockets of exploitative corporations or contributing to wasteful, polluting business models, and it feels even better to know you’ve made a difference to a business owner’s day. Shopping small at Christmas gives you the opportunity to delight your friends and family with brilliant, thoughtful gifts and it has a knock-on effect on the business owner’s Christmas too. Nothing says “Christmas spirit” quite like it.