As we start gearing up for the busy Christmas period, finding the perfect gift for your loved ones can be like a treasure hunt. Just knowing which shops to look in can be daunting. The solution, however, could be right on your doorstep.
Christmas is a critical time for retailers, and this is particularly true for local independent shops. Here in Leicester, they can be found all over the city; hidden creative gems amongst the towering giants of the larger retail chains. Independent retailers can provide different and quirky gifts for your loved ones. Some store owners even sell their own handmade creations which they will have a personal attachment to. By buying their products, you can help ensure that they can continue their great work and contribute to their livelihood.
According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), small and medium independent businesses had a turnover of £1.5 trillion, and 10% of all the small businesses in the UK were in the retail sector. With small retailers contributing so much to our economy, it is important to recognise their successes, and there are a number of ways that you can do this.
This December, Small Business Saturday aims to encourage Christmas shoppers to look at the smaller retailers on their doorsteps. Last year on Small Business Saturday, 16.5 million shoppers used local retailers, an increase of 2.7 million on 2013’s figure. Social media also played an important role in supporting small businesses; throughout Small Business Saturday 2014, the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK was the top trend throughout the day, which also helped to promote the businesses themselves.
By supporting small businesses, shoppers can help them continue producing the unique and sometimes bespoke products that they put so much effort into. This, in turn, can benefit the community or city they operate in. Taking the time to shop around and look at the other shops in your area makes more of a difference than you might realise.
If you are struggling to think of ideas for Christmas presents this year, why not take a walk through Leicester and visit some of the independent retailers around our streets. You might just be surprised by what you come across!
Written and produced by D. Burton Editing