Today is Small Business Saturday in the UK, a government backed initiative to encourage people to buy locally, and support small, local traders. I am ALL ABOUT THIS!
Whilst there are always flip sides the benefits of buying locally that need to be recognised are ample… From an environmental perspective it cuts down on air miles, and our stinking, polluting carbon footprint. From an economic perspective it focuses spend within local communities in turn enriching the area we live in, in oh so many ways. It shines the spot-light on creative, cottage industries and independent retailers giving small-scale makers and producers the opportunity to shine and prosper… Which often means the consumer is able to invest in better quality goods that have been crafted with care and attention (because quality and consistency matters when you’re a sole trader or small business and have a reputation to uphold). The consumer also generally gets better customer service because the jobs and livelihoods of the people serving you depend upon you leaving happy and telling friends how great their business is, plus the offer available tends to be pretty frickin’ special. Small Businesses are only too aware that they need a unique selling point in order to stand out amongst the generic (and often unfathomably cheap – **alarm bells**) high street chains, so they dedicate their lives to sourcing amazing products and produce to present (often beautifully) to their customers, and try to make sure that the customer experience is a positive and memorable one.
It’s all common sense really, but it’s also easy to forget in our busy lives as we juggle time, cash- flow and commitments. But loving thy neighbour really is important, and I know all this only too well coming from a family of small business owners, having married into a family who are small business owners, and being part of the small business clan myself. Add to that the fact that one of my best mates runs the most amazing Aladdin’s cave of a shop and gallery in central Oxford that’s packed to the brim with achingly gorgeous goodies, AND it’s time to do some Christmas shopping. In short, ditch on-line buying unless you really have to. Spend your money locally, and see your community prosper from the effect that it’ll have on self-esteem and tourism as your neighbourhood smartens up its act and presents a better looking offer, and do so by getting thee to Shop at the Old Fire Station in Gloucester Green, Oxford today (if you visit today, you’ll go back, it’s a given). Support Small Business Saturday!
P.s. See below for info about a free jewellery workshop taking place in the Shop at the Old Fire Station today too – can this place get any more appealing and worth supporting!? No, no it can’t. Open 10am – 6pm, get yourselves down there!