Not to cause any unwarranted panic amongst anybody out there but Christmas is now rapidly looming upon us. Yes, we said it, the dread ‘C’ word. Over the next few weeks you can expect the regulation Christmas tunes to begin to play in every location and the Christmas wish lists to come pouring in from your nearest and dearest, all eventually leading to a final week late night dash to the supermarket where you scramble through self-written reminder notes and try to establish whether you needed to buy crackers or just go crackers! 
 
Then there is the other elephant in the room, Coronavirus. No matter how much tinsel and baubles we hang off its ominous tusks, it’s still going to very much be with us this Christmas and will no doubt make certain usual Christmas festivities all the more stressful or laborious. Though we can’t tell you exactly what Christmas will look like this year, we can talk about something close to our hearts – seasonal small business survival and why shopping small and local is the best thing you can do to help out. 
 
Baby It’s Covid Outside 
These are definitely uncertain times. Across the world Governments are constantly changing and implementing existing and new measures designed to slow the spread of the virus and ultimately keep us all safe and, for small business owners, the impact of these measures has already hit hard. 
 
The business community needs our help, that is undeniable right now, and whilst we are all hunkered down and social distancing, our money isn’t reaching those companies that it may have done before. A lot of these businesses have of course made adaptations to their practises to allow us to interact with them safely but there are also choices that we can make right now as consumers that will help to protect the futures of local small businesses. 
 
Shopping local isn’t just for Christmas either, the benefits of doing so far outstretch the seasonal period and the undetermined length of the pandemic we are facing and we’re going to tell you why! 
 
O Come All Ye Faithful 
What’s so different about buying local as opposed to buying from corporate giants you might ask? Well, whether or not you know it, not only are small businesses driven by pure passion and big dreams, but they are also invaluable to our economy and society. 
 
The growth of a small business can create an entirely new eco system that allows other small businesses to spring up and prosper. Businesses that all work together to build each other up and succeed in turn helps whole communities to thrive. Alongside this, the money that you spend stays in your community, helping to fund more local jobs, better prospects for those living in your area and aiding in local developments. 
 
Then there is the social aspect of shopping local. Many of the local high streets you see in the UK are not littered with big names or massive corporations, they are collections of small contributors working with their local councils to preserve the atmosphere of the town. By shopping local you increase the appeal of these areas, not only to other locals but also to those from outside the area, boosting income gained from tourism for all areas of the community. 
 
Throw in the obvious gains of sustainability from shorter manufacturing journeys and the associated ethical gains of buying local produce and you’re really looking at a full house of reasons why shopping local is the way forward. Yes, you may pay slightly more or wait a little longer but you’re gaining so much more when it comes to peace of mind, quality, and authenticity. 
 
Shopping In A Local Wonderland 
We understand, shopping local isn’t always the easiest option and there is always going to be times where the convenience of a larger business wins out. There are however little things that you can do to help your local small businesses to not only survive but thrive during these times. 
 
Eat Local 
Whether it’s getting a takeaway meal or eating out safely, utilise the restaurants in your area. With tourism at the moment very much at a standstill – it’s your business that they are relying on. Also keep an eye out for special events they may be offering as gifts. 
 
Buy Local 
Birthdays, Christmas, Thank You gifts, whatever the occasion make a promise to yourself this Christmas to try and buy as many presents locally as you can. In a year where we’ve all learnt a little more about what we truly value, most people will probably prefer the time and effort that has gone into a more unique gift. 
 
Sweat Local 
How many of us drive out of our local areas to visit large chain gyms? Did we check out the offering in our area first? Most towns are littered with fantastic gyms and expert personal trainers that can offer us more time and more dedication towards reaching our goals. 
 
Do It Local 
There isn’t a single person who hasn’t undertaken some form of household or garden makeover this year but how many of us sourced the items we needed locally? Check out your nearest small nursery or DIY shop, nails are nails regardless of where you purchase them from – you also never know what kind of additional help and advice you might receive. 
 
Fix It Local 
Maintenance happens. Boilers, cars, gardens, everything needs looking after occasionally. When you’re choosing a tradesman to come and repair or maintain something then seek out those local to you first. You’ll likely get a quicker turnaround than if you were to use a national company. 
 
Think Local 
Perhaps you don’t have a specific purchase in mind just yet, that’s ok, but train yourself to start looking at the options closest to you when you’re browsing. Maybe that means visiting a farm shop instead of the supermarket, maybe it means just taking a stroll down your local high street. If you don’t open your eyes to the possibilities, then you’ll never see what is available on your front door. 
 
It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year 
A wise person once said, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy local and that’s kind of the same thing.” 
We whole heartedly agree, and in a time where happiness is what every single person in the world is craving more than anything, we think that there has never been a better time to reach out and support local businesses. 
If you need help with getting your business ready for Small Business Saturday you can visit here to find your local team today. 
 
Wishing you a magical, local and above all happy Christmas from all of us here at Pink Spaghetti
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