5 ways to support local and small businesses this Christmas

Make a real difference this Christmas and shop from local, independent shops as they need our support more than ever.

This year has been a challenging and stressful year for us all, but in particular for small businesses who are doing everything they can to stay open and offer a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.

Local shops across the country have been forced to rethink their business models. They’ve launched online shops almost overnight, they’re offering click and collect or same-day delivery services.

They’re going the extra mile to keep serving the communities that rely on them. Now it’s our turn to give something back this Christmas!

Here are 5 ways to support local and small businesses this Christmas!

1. Do your Christmas food shop from your local farmer, butcher, or food hall and buy ingredients that are locally sourced. It’s easy to head to the supermarkets to get food but you may be missing out on delicious local produce. We were introduced to a few local businesses through Kent Food Hubs – we particularly love the apple juice from Perry Court Farm, the ice cream from Simply Ice Cream and we stock up on fresh milk and butter from Plurenden Manor Farm.
2. Surprise your loved ones with a Christmas hamper full of local goodies. You can choose a pre-made hamper (available to buy in-store and online) or make your own at Macknade, in Ashford. You can rest assured they will love their gift since you handpicked it!

We stocked up on all our festive favorites whilst shopping in Macknade yesterday, including a traditional Panettone (this particular one is made by Vergani, the only surviving commercial bakery in the center of Milan), a bottle of Gavi (my favorite white wine), a box of Cantucci and Grissini for our little one, some venison pate for my husband and Stilton Blue Cheese for me.

3. Make your own Christmas wreath with a DIY kit from East Kent Flower Company (they deliver locally and nationwide, order yours here) and help support a small, family-run business. Louise, the creative mind behind East Kent Flower Company, has recently launched her online shop after her business being affected by the current situation. With all weddings and special events cancelled, she has had to find another way to keep her business afloat.

4. Buy your Christmas crackers from a local, independent stationery brand. I particularly love Nancy & Betty, and not just because they make the most beautiful and luxurious Christmas crackers and wrapping paper I have ever seen. All of their products are eco-friendly and handmade in England. They use vegetable-based inks and sustainable paper stock. And for every box of crackers bought, they plant a tree. Well done, Nancy & Betty!

5. Share the love and spread the word. So you’ve found an amazing small business that has offered an incredible service with a wonderfully unique product. Now share the love and spread the word about your new discovery!
Tag them on social media, leave a review, tell your family and friends. It’s free and easy, and you’ll certainly make their day!

Remember that behind every local storefront, sign, and online shop is somebody’s dream, and even a family’s tradition. Where you shop really matters!