Some will have already started buying presents while others are yet to start. Many of us know what we want, or have a good idea of what we will be buying, and will head straight to the nearest big department store or national toy retailer for ease and convenience.
But why not try something a little different this year and support local, independent businesses in Leicester? St Martins Square, The Silver Arcade, Allandale Road and Queens Road all have a swathe of local businesses that need the support of shoppers, not just at Christmas but all year round.
By spending money in your local community, you are doing more than just supporting the business in which you made a purchase. It is said that for every £1 you spend in a local-run shop, 63p will stay in the community compared to just 40p of every pound spent in a chain store. This is due to the way local businesses support each other by themselves buying local produce and hiring other local firms such as accountants etc.
Do you think that by buying local you will end up spending more than in a national chain store? You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that many smaller stores are very competitively priced. Many butchers or grocers for example, will offer informal discounts for those who regularly shop with them and will be able to offer specialists advice that very few chain store staff would be able to give. They are also more likely to have offers to suit you with the end result being that you purchase items that you actually want, rather than being tempted to buy multiple items that you neither want nor need just because they are on offer.
Small businesses are also renowned for offering unique gifts and items that you would struggle to find elsewhere. Why not go and have a look, buy something a little different and delight a friend or loved one with something that they have never seen before? Not only can you get something a little different on the gift front but if you’re going to a Christmas party then why not visit a local clothing store? Not only will you get good value for money, you’ll also cut the chances of seeing someone else wearing the same as you!
If the reasons already stated haven’t convinced you to shop local then think about how shopping with small local stores and companies helps to support the area you live in. Smaller businesses employ comparatively more people than large chains do and they spend more themselves within the same community. Increased economic prosperity can lead to local improvements and a nicer place to live. Locally run businesses are also more eager to help local groups and entrepreneurs buy letting them use their shops and business premises for events or meetings; drumming up business for themselves whilst helping the wider community at the same time.
Buying locally produced food is more environmentally friendly and will taste and look better on the table this Christmas. Meat and veg from local butchers and market stalls will not have travelled as far as the produce sold in supermarkets, plus using seasonal produce means it is the best that it can possibly be and will be more flavoursome.
If this has tickled your taste buds then why not pop down to Leicester Market, St Martins Square, The Silver Arcade, Allandale Road or Queens Road and see how they can improve the quality of your Christmas!