It’s always important to support small business, but this year it is more vital than ever. Whilst Christmas is likely to look a little different than usual, there are lots of ways we can all help make it as positive as possible for our local communities. These are my top tips to support small business this Christmas, and I’d love to hear yours too!
This is the most obvious tip to support small business, but it’s also the key one. Shopping at your local businesses whenever possible this Christmas is the number one way to help. Not only does it keep businesses afloat after a very difficult year, but it is great for keeping your local community vibrant. That has flow on benefits for other local businesses too.
Shop Online Early
Supporting small businesses through online shopping has been something lots of us have been doing all year, but we know that delivery times can get long around Christmas. To avoid stress for either you or the seller make sure you place your orders as early as possible. This is especially important if you are custom ordering items – definitely don’t leave those to the last minute.
Click and Collect or Shop Quickly
With density restrictions likely to remain in place (particularly here in Melbourne) all the way to Christmas, an easy way to support small business is to spend up without spending too much time in store. If click and collect is still being offered this is ideal, but if not try to not spend too much time browsing in store. The more people they can get through during opening hours the better for the business.
Think About The Hardest Hit Industries
While it’s fair to say most businesses have been hard hit this year, there are some that are likely to struggle for a while longer than most. Industries like tourism, live music, theatre, comedy and the like are unlikely to see full activity again quickly, so if you can find ways to support them this Christmas then it will be doubly appreciated. Gift vouchers, physical music (records, CDs etc), subscriptions to shows – there are lots of things that work for Christmas presents!
Experiences over things is often my go-to for presents, and it works just as well this year as a way to support small businesses. It could be a night out at a fancy restaurant, craft classes, tickets to a tour, you name it. There is something for everyone, and it’s safe to say the small business at the other end will be grateful.
Leave Positive Reviews and Share Your Finds
One of the simplest – and free – options to support small business this Christmas is just to help spread the word. Leave positive reviews about your favourite shops (even if you can’t afford to buy anything there at the moment), share your finds online, share their posts online – anything you can do to help boost their presence. Even commenting regularly on their social media will help with gain further exposure which helps other people find places to shop this Christmas.
Buy Local Food
Supporting local business isn’t just about your Christmas presents – you can do it for your food too. Choosing to shop at your local butcher, greengrocer, farmers markets and the like will be a huge boost to them, and often can be cheaper too. Placing orders in advance is often possible with small businesses too, so you can be guaranteed to get what you need without that last minute rush a day or two before Christmas. You’re also guaranteed to be supporting local farmers and the food won’t have travelled long distances or been in storage for weeks either – so many wins!
Stock Your Bar Locally Too
Last but definitely not least, you can support local business with your drinks choices too! When thinking about what you might serve for Christmas lunch try and choose local wineries, breweries or distilleries for your drink of choice. We’re incredibly lucky to have excellent beer, wine and spirits made right here in Australia (and even closer to home in most instances!) so you’ll still be getting top-notch quality while supporting a local maker. In many instances you can order directly from them as well, or even visit them to pick it up if they are super local!