It is no secret that the economy has been truly decimated by the effects of Coronavirus – but for some, the financial impact has cut a great deal deeper than for others. Namely, those who are newly self employed. The start-ups. The small businesses.
Although financial packages were put in place by the Government, those who fell through the crack most notably were the start-up business who either started trading too late, or made a loss/tiny profit in their 2018/19 accounts and were not entitled to a bean.
For a great deal of small businesses, Christmas shopping can account for a massive proportion of annual sales. But with shops shut until at least the 2nd December (possibly longer) many of their would-be customers are spending their time in lockdown buying their Christmas gifts online – and those smaller businesses are often unable to compete with the mammoth marketing efforts of national chains, so you don’t see them in your search.
So how do you support a small business this Christmas?
There are a number of things you need to buy this Christmas – and you have to buy them from SOMEONE. So why not buy them from a small business?
Here are some ideas of how you can support a small/local business by purchasing items you were already planning to buy anyway.
The businesses we have mentioned in this guide have NOT paid us to endorse them, in fact, they don’t even know that we have mentioned them!
Your Christmas Dinner
If you are having a Christmas dinner then you need to buy it from somewhere. Most of us will go to a major supermarket and spend a small fortune on a turkey, veggies, chocolates, booze, cheese, Christmas cake…. so where could you purchase it from instead?
- Search Facebook for ‘cakes XXXX’ (where you live) – I bet they have a recent post about Christmas cakes they’re offering
- Do you know who your local butcher is? They will certainly be taking orders for turkey and meat at Christmas
- Most towns have a local wine supplier, often with great prices and excellent customer service – while they might normally supply to hospitality, their revenues have been badly hit and most will be very happy to supply you with a case. Here’s a small, independent wine business that we love where you can buy online.
Gifts for Mum / Sister / Female
- If you would normally buy a gift set of some sort in Boots / Selfridges – would she like one from your local hair or beauty salon? The vast majority have products for retail if you look on their website or Facebook pages.
- Not sure what to buy? What about a session or two of personal training sessions with a local trainer? A tennis coach? Many have had no income during lockdown and they would appreciate forward bookings that might very well develop into more work.
- She loves Yankee Candles? Why not get her a candle or a gift set from the tiny business whose candles are hand-made, locally?
- She loves fashion? Don’t get her a voucher for ASOS, or a national store – pick one up from a tiny fashion e-commerce business.
- Is she tired, exhausted and overworked? Why don’t you get her 2 hours of cleaning at her house – this may cost you £20-50 depending on local rates, but you are giving her that time back to spend with her family and she may even decide to continue with those services.
Gifts for Dad/ Brother / Male
- You usually get aftershave right? Well, instead of buying that aftershave from a national – search Google for the type of aftershave you want, and pick the company on page 2-3 of Google. They can’t afford SEO.
- What about socks? You can buy personalised socks, funny socks, all sorts of socks on Etsy – and the vast majority of Etsy sellers are micro businesses
- Does he like golf? A round of golf, or even golf/sports paraphernalia supports a small and local business – either book a round at your local club, or search Google for ‘golfing gifts’ and choose the one that doesn’t appear at the top of the results!
- Maybe he’s a fitness fanatic? Have you considered a funny, personalised water bottle or gym towel?
- Is he into BBQing or bushcraft or camping? Don’t buy from Go Outdoors or the big guys – here’s a tip… if you search for a product such as ‘Camping Equipment’ and go on a national website, then go back to Facebook a few hours later, you’ll more than likely see ads from much smaller businesses! Our personal favourite is Fire & Food BBQ Store – a brand new independent business that launched this year selling all sorts of cool gifts.
Secret Santa Gifts / Gifts for your teacher
- It’s tempting to pick up a bottle of fizz from the supermarket – but you’ve got several weeks to spare, and there are lots of tiny cupcake companies or sweets companies taking orders – here’s one we randomly found on page 8 of Google, Preston Sweets they have some lovely, affordable gifts that would be perfect for your teacher.
- If you think your teacher quite fancies some booze (and who would blame them!) why not look at whether your local brewery sells mini barrels. We found this small business on Page 6 of Google – selling fantastic mini kegs of cask ale.
Gifts for your children
- We found this little online toy shop all the way out on page 8 of Google – with no Facebook Pixel installed, and just 41 Facebook likes – I reckon if just 1-2 of you reading this places an order with this TINY business, they’d be truly ecstatic! They’ll wonder where the heck the orders even came from! And looking at their website, they have some decent stuff at very good prices!
- We found these super cute personalised dinosaur pyjamas on page 4 of Google for £16 (age 0-7)- with 1400 Facebook likes and no Facebook Pixel installed, they’re undoubtedly a tiny business. Imagine if we all went and bought a pair? Imagine how happy they would be?
We hope that you find something in this Support Small Business Christmas Guide – just to be clear, we do not know the businesses features – they have not paid us, ask us or given us samples – they do not even know we have mentioned them.
Our random gift this Christmas, is promoting this post with paid advertising in the hopes that just a few of you make a purchase from one of these tiny businesses, so that they wake up and find a load of random orders they didn’t expect!