A key topic on the radio recently was grabbing a bargain for Christmas. It's not about shopping online or going to big chains for knock-down prices - you'll probably find the best deals of 2010 on your local high street.
When the national economy started going into a nose-dive a few years ago, the sense of doom and gloom amongst small to medium sized businesses was almost palpable. As bigger corporations crumbled - institutions we thought were impervious to fiscal damage - we all realised we were in big trouble.
True, many businesses and jobs haven't survived, and many people across the UK are still dealing with the financial and emotional backlash (I speak from first hand experience, as would countless people I know), we are fighting back, and many businesses are surviving - possibly as a surprise even to themselves.
One of the knock-on effects of The Big R was that people began to focus on matters close at hand - home cooking, grow-your-own, and shopping locally. The tentative success of our economy so far has largely been down to the doggedness of those small and medium sized businesses. Large corporations can - for the most part - ride the storm, feeling the pinch much later on. Smaller companies however, can't afford to be paid late anymore - and this has been the downfall for many of them. Often, late payment of invoices is process-driven, where big businesses aren't geared up to pay their smaller suppliers quicker than they always have done. They are not consequently in a position to help the smaller businesses, whose cashflow can't weather a dry spot or cover their own costs and expenses.
That aside, we - as consumers - can help. By focussing on local trade and suppliers, we focus our support and hard-earned pennies on the companies we often take for granted - those on our doorstep.
At thebestof Canterbury, we can't say it enough - SHOP LOCALLY!
Get yourself down to Canterbury city centre, and see what's on offer this Christmas - you can't beat a good bit of legwork under sparkling lights to get you in the Christmas spirit.
It's certainly worth having a look at our Business Directory here on thebestof Canterbury for gift ideas, and checking out our Members Offers pages - our Business Members have some great deals on offer that could really help your purse strings.
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