When the pandemic hit and lockdown took over, we had to quickly stand back and rethink our purpose. Overnight (almost!) we set up a website and were so taken aback with the huge level of support and demand we had for our service. We felt we had an ability to help you stay at home, and for us to get provisions and essentials to those who needed them. We also had an opportunity to keep supporting our local suppliers, particularly as a lot of their usual selling platforms were not as accessible. For one reason or another, eg farmers market stopping or current stockists not being able to trade; we had a space for them. And they have been so popular - it’s been great to see our customers know that they can continue to support their favourite local goods, but also be introduced into new ones too.
More than ever, choosing where we spend our money is so important, what do we want our high streets to look like, how do we want to shop; what experiences do we want to have? As a local business owner; but also a consumer just as everyone else, I know how many factors there are that go into making a purchasing choice; each with varying degrees of consciousness. Brands serve a purpose, they provide opportunity for research and development, they give familiarity and consistency. Independents offer innovation, experience, differentiation; we remember your names, your orders, we value your opinions and seriously put your feedback into action. When the high street chains were shut; we were there with a smile on our faces and a coffee in hand, we were the forward thinkers, the go getters, the trend setters. We were taking the risks to serve you, we thought about you, we remembered you and couldn't wait to see you!
What a lot of people don't realise is that when you shop with local businesses, you are putting more money back into the local community. We are more likely to then spend the money in other local businesses, and therefore grow the economy and give back into the city we love. When I woke up on Monday 15th June, a date I will remember forever now, I was not joining the queue at Primark, or outside TKMaxx, I was walking carefully and consciously into my fellow independent small business shops. I couldn’t wait to send my congratulations of support, have a chat and spend my money with them. My heart truly sang. Where did you go?
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