The growing trend of 2020 is to support your local businesses because the high street shops struggle to compete with large scale companies. Independent businesses have their place in our economy and play a very important role.
Firstly, if we didn’t support them, our high street would be looking very bare, and secondly, they are actually better for the economy of your community. It has been proven that if you spend as little as £10 with your local independent shop, up to £50 goes back into the local community. This is primarily because a local shop owner will be putting the money they earned into other local businesses such as pubs & restaurants, which in turn circulates the money around the community.
Thinking outside of the box when it comes to independent shops is key and this typically means they will be more pleasantly surprised when receiving the unusual gift! Photo gifts can be a great way to cherish the precious moments of the family. Check out Plympton Photoshop this Christmas for all your personalised gifts from Canvas prints to Mugs and everything in-between! They have some Christmas special offers too. There is a large selection of photo frames, gifts and accessories instore and no need to worry about parking as there is 2 hours free parking nearby. You can also order online to collect instore or they can deliver!
The events industry is notably struggling due to the pandemic so if you are planning a ‘covid-secure’ event during the Christmas period, don’t forget about the photographers and videographers! We recommend Skymind Studios for all things camera and design!
I personally prefer to see unique shops on the high street where I don’t quite know what to expect when I walk in, rather than the chains that you see everywhere. You also tend to find items that are rare or exclusive to that particular shop which can make the experience even more special. Seeing lots of independent shops on the high street gives the place character and in turn, attracts visitors and tourists from all over the world. It can be a real breath of fresh air when you turn down a street and you don’t recognise a single shop front. A little splash of colour here and a unique shop front there and you’ve got yourself a new tourist hot spot!
Speaking of which, blame LILY has certainly brought a splash of independent glamour to The Broadway, Plymstock. OM had the pleasure of visiting their shop and interviewing the lovely family responsible for giving The Broadway the facelift it needed! Jewellery specialists, Carole and Graham, stock a wide range of Sterling Silver and costume jewellery, watches, beautiful clothing and handbags, quirky homewares, shoes and gifts. Perfect for treating your loved ones this Christmas! They also have a great selection of men’s gifts.
If you are looking for something a little different this month, we recommend you check out the unique artists at Cedarwood Arts. They are an independent, handcrafted online art shop based in Elburton. They specialise in bespoke woodwork which you can get personalised for a special someone.
Independent shops are healthier for the environment. Most small shops these days are very picky (but in a good way) about how their stock is shipped and what type of packaging is used. These small, yet important, details are what we need for a sustainable future. It may mean paying slightly more for a similar product you may find at a supermarket, however, the long-term benefits on the environment and of the quality of the product are a no brainer!
There is a wide range of activity-based gifts that you can treat your loved ones to this winter.
Puffing Billy Cycles offers a range of electric bikes to help tackle Plymouth’s nasty hills. This could be a brilliant gift for a loved one who wants to get their confidence back with cycling!
This particular experience might be worth thinking about in December when you need a bit of ‘me time’ to relax from all of this Christmas shopping. Palm Tree Yoga offers yoga sessions in different spots in and around Plymouth. Sophie from Palm Tree Yoga makes yoga fun and provides great days out, for example, Beach Yoga, SUP Yoga, Yoga on the Hoe or Yoga and Breakfast, this could make a brilliant gift for the ‘yogis’ in the family!
With a Gym membership as a gift, this could be just what is needed to kickstart your motivation. What better gym to go to then Fort Stamford Health and Fitness? They have taken Covid-19 seriously with high-tech equipment to ensure its premises are ‘covid-secure’.
Although it’s convenient, online shopping plays havoc to independent shop owners as the big brands tend to show up first on a Google search. But picture this – it’s a frosty morning, the sun is shining and the frost is beginning to melt. You step out in your winter coat, gloves and woolly hat and take a stroll down your local high street. Grab a coffee and a delicious treat from your local barista, we recommend St Stephens Bakery. They offer a wide variety of sweet treats as well as a catering service which is perfect for a little Christmas gathering (but remember it’s no more than 6 people!)
Most independent shops have beautiful Christmas window displays. You walk in, you hear the bell ding and the warm air hits your rosy cheeks. The shop keeper welcomes you with a smile. All of these senses are not possible with online shopping and, to me, this is one of the best feelings and best ways to get into the Christmas spirit!
Nimrif RC boasts all of the excitement of waking up on Christmas morning with an incredible range of remote-controlled vehicles. From boats and planes to cars and lorries, there is everything you need at this shop in Plympton for a great, long-lasting gift! They also offer services and repairs! We had the opportunity to visit Nimrif RC and interview the man in charge of this exciting shop.
Since they are local, this means that less pollution is caused as people can easily walk to them. Independent shops tend to be those you can spend hours in, browsing their unusual products which means you are more likely to walk and take your time.
Firstly, if you are wanting to take the stress off the big day, why not try leaving your Christmas meal in the capable hands of Fletcher’s Restaurant? They have a delicious A La Carte Christmas menu for you to enjoy and if you would like something more exclusive to you, they also have the option for private hire of the restaurant. This is to be enquired in advance so they can make sure your evening is perfect!
If you are on the hunt for the perfect Christmas gift and happen to be on The Barbican, don’t forget to grab your very own slice of Greek street food at The Greek! With authentic Greek Souvlaki wraps, salads and grilled halloumi, what’s not to love! They also offer a very tempting Belgian hot chocolate to take the chill off of the crisp, sea air.
The global pandemic has notably affected the economy but it isn’t too late. Now is as good a time as ever to help out your local businesses. Think outside of the box when it comes to small businesses because not all of them are on our high streets. Some are just a phone call away!
Everybody knows that the oven can get very messy after a big Christmas turkey roast and the cleaning up can be a big job. So do your elbows a favour this year and call the Oven Wizards to get it looking sparkling! There is no such thing as ‘too clean’ when the Oven Wizards get to work!
If you are planning to have family or friends around for the big day, make the inside gorgeously festive and clean but don’t neglect the outside! Still Window Cleaning is a local service of window cleaners who will have your windows looking brand new in no time. A few Christmas fairy lights later and the front of your house has been transformed!
And for all things tree and plant-related, talk to the team at The Tree Surgery Company today to get your garden looking lovely this winter.
The current pandemic has cut thousands of jobs in the UK already. Surprisingly, compared to large chain companies, small independent companies employ more people nationally. This means that more jobs are available if we can keep these independent companies running!
It’s starting to get chillier as we are approaching the winter months, therefore, it’s time to start paying more attention to your boiler. Tru-Tech Heating provides high-level technical servicing and repairs as well as quality heating installations and energy-efficient upgrades. So, you can rest easy on Christmas eve knowing that even though it might be cold outside, inside your home will be nice and toasty.
Save a little extra money this year so you can give your loved ones the Christmas they deserve. Have a browse on Utility Warehouse and save time by getting all of your home services in one, simple, monthly bill.
Having a healthy outlook on spending your money locally can do more than just keep that particular business running. The local economy, appearance of high streets and the environment are all brilliant benefits from supporting independent businesses, so do your bit and keep them going!
We hope you have a very merry shopping experience this year and remember to stay safe and think local!