It’s officially December which means that it’s now acceptable for us to talk ‘all thigs Christmas’! Yes, Christmas is going to be a little (ok, a lot!) different this year but after the year we’ve had, it’s never been more important to let people know that we care. Presents don’t need to cost the Earth, in fact, quite the contrary…it’s the thought that counts, right?

Whilst many of us will want to avoid heading out to the shops this December, we’re thankful for the technologies of the 21st Century and online shopping. Now, there’s a time and a need for hitting up the big online retailers (we all know who they are!) but if this year has taught us anything, it’s that small, local businesses need our support. So, Christmas starts at home…think local, shop local, support local!
 


The perfect handmade gifts!

Whether its jewellery, soaps, candles, paintings, glassware or clothing, we bet that there is someone in your local community that owns a little business doing just that! And they’ll probably offer free local delivery right to your door. Often the challenge will be finding them, so here are our top tips!

Virtual Christmas Market

With the option of hosting a live Christmas Fayre or Market pretty much out the window for 2020, we have seen the rise of the virtual Christmas markets, often hosted on social media platforms such as Facebook. They’re the perfect way to find all sorts of wonderful local businesses. Try searching “Derby Christmas Market” or “Virtual Christmas Market near me” on Facebook.

Local community Facebook Groups

Again, social media is your friend when it comes to things like this, and joining your local community Facebook group is another great way to find out about local businesses.

Go old school, and simply ask the neighbours.

You know Steve next door but one, who’s lived on the street for 28 years? Or Sandra, mum-of-3, who knows a lot of other parents from the school playground? Ask them! You’ll be surprised what local knowledge they might be hiding!

 

And when all else fails, just Google it!

 


Food, Glorious, Food!

When shopping for the big day (or any day, really!) it’s all too easy to head to the big supermarkets for all your needs, but don’t overlook the local grocer, butcher, baker or farm shop. 2020 has forced many of these small business owners to adapt and many will now offer delivery right to your door, online ordering or click and collect making it even easier!

Again, 2020 has seen many market stall holders offer local home delivery of cheese, deli meats, cakes and fruit and veg, so why not Google your local market stalls or try searching on Facebook.

It probably goes without saying, but if you’re looking for some of the popular Christmas items then you’ll really want to think about getting an order in quick.

 


Gift vouchers – the perfect way to support local!

So, in many parts of the UK we can’t currently visit local cafes or restaurants, we might not feel as relaxed as normal at the beauty salon or local spa, and local entertainment venues may not be open, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t show your support. Gift vouchers also allow your oved ones to choose when they spend them, and what on! Perfect!
 


If you can’t support local, then support small businesses!

You might not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for locally, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Sites such as ‘Etsy’ and ‘Not on the Highstreet’ are great places to find small businesses, loads of handmade items and much more. And what’s even better is that many of these small businesses offer gift wrapping and messaging so you can send gifts directly to those loved ones that you might not get to see before the big day. Saves all the hassle of queueing outside the post office, doesn’t it?

 


And, finally…

Once you’ve got what you were looking for, do a final good deed and leave a review! Leaving a review or sharing their Facebook page is a great way to support small, local businesses, and it costs you nothing apart from a few minutes of your time!

 

So, there’s nothing left for us to say apart from, “good luck”, “happy shopping” and “Merry Christmas from all at Venture Abroad!”