Have Yourself a Merry LITTLE Christmas
Why going Little can be a good thing
Holly Tucker, founder of Not on the Highstreet.com began her campaign #campaignshopindependent in 2017 and says she will continue campaigning for the support of independent businesses for the rest of her career.
‘It’s essential everyone takes [supporting small businesses] seriously – like not having plastic straws/bags, understanding the word feminism, what palm oil is, the battle of mental health – I believe that supporting small businesses, the independents, our small shops on the high street and the very backbone of our economy, is just as crucial as all these subjects.’ -Holly Tucker, 2018
With an election coming up this December, it is more important than ever to ‘vote with your money’ and use Christmas shopping as a way of supporting your local community.
But why is shopping at independent stores so important? How does it really affect us? Is describing them as the backbone of our economy extreme? Today’s post, inspired by Holly, will endeavour to answer these questions as well as giving you some inspiration for your own Christmas Shopping!
Let’s take a look at the Facts and Stats
According to research from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, 99.9% of the 5.7 million businesses in the UK are small or medium-size businesses (SMEs). Contributing 47 per cent of the UK’s economic revenue as well as providing employment opportunities to people who may not be employable by larger corporations, SMEs are indeed the backbone of the UK’s economy.
Moreover, shopping locally benefits us personally, as Holly says, ‘Small businesses bring stories, connection and humanity to our lives; help us show people we care; help us consume with consideration and consciousness.’
By shopping from local small businesses you will be reducing your own carbon footprint, as ordering from large companies creates demand for transport that is not environmentally friendly. Climate change is affected by where you shop more than is immediately obvious. Buying your clothes from charity shops help decrease fast fashion and lower your carbon footprint and reduce waste whilst being kind to your wallet. For your Christmas dinner this year, consider supporting your local butcher, farm or farmers market by buying meat from them rather than a supermarket. You’ll be endorsing local farmers rather than mass animal farming- a decision that’s better for the planet and your health!
Christmas sales can account for between a third and nearly two-thirds of a small retailer’s annual turnover, so it is a crucial time of year for our independent shops. Search your local town to support your own small businesses, whether antique stores, vinyl shops, book shops or even textile & craft stores where you could buy wool and fabric and make your own unique gift- anybody else want to embroider personalised stockings for the children in their lives? With this festive season fast approaching, My Icon Story has decided to share some gift ideas from independent businesses that will make your loved ones feel appreciated while showing support for your local community (and the environment)!
Where should you shop then?
My Icon Story have been featured in a wonderful gift guide purely for small independent and female run businesses. Curated by our favourite networking group Found & Flourish, take a look at some of the amazing gifts on offer this Christmas and help keep these female run businesses flourishing.
Gourmet Marshmallows? Check out the Marshmallowist
Laura Bond has a phenomenal range of stackable earrings
Fall back in love with bars of soap with Nuddy
Its not Christmas without a pair of new socks right? Check out Sisu Socks
Looking for a personalised present for your foodie friends? Take a box of these divine biscuits to your next Christmas Party to make a sweet impression.
This beautiful independent store based in Soho, London is responsible for the gorgeous graphic design in the Harry Potter films. Find the perfect gift for your favourite Harry Potter fan here this Christmas!
Not on the High Street
To support the best small businesses in the UK and find handmade treasures online, Not on the High Street the place to go!
My Icon Story
Is someone in your life particularly difficult to shop for? Why not create a personalised My Icon Story print just for them?
Isabella, one of our bloggers here at My Icon Story, has created the perfect guide to creating an icon story. With a quick read of the guide, you will be one your way to the perfect Christmas gift.
The movement #SmallBusinessSaturday created by American Express is celebrating its 7th year in 2019, having grown more every year, with £812 million spent in small businesses across the UK on 2018’s Small Business Saturday. To get involved spread the word by using the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday and #CampaignShopIndependent and get ready to buy from independent businesses on the 7th and throughout December 2019!