It’s incredibly important to buy local this Christmas. This is why we are launching our BUY LOCAL directory full of amazing products and gifts made and sold by local people, shops and producers.

Our area has an ever-growing scene of independent business and craftspeople creating all kinds of incredible things. This year has been incredibly difficult time for local businesses, so The Tees is standing by small businesses in our area.

While it’s easier to shop with big companies, the impact of the pandemic means that we’re all urged to shop locally this Christmas, and are encouraged to think a little harder about the gifts we’re buying and where we’re buying them from.

According to The Independent, almost half of small businesses owners say that if everyone in their local community spent £5 extra per week with small businesses, it would keep them open in the long term. By shopping with a local business, you are helping to create a healthy economy in your area. Put simply, the owner of the local business you shop with can put that money back into the area by shopping with local businesses themselves.

Buying local also means that you can also help grow the number of jobs in your area. Office for National Statistic data show that small businesses account for three-fifths of employment in the UK private sector. So, shopping locally for that gift for your emotional support best friend (we’ve all had one during lockdown) can create more jobs in your area!

In fact, a survey revealed that 55% of Britons plan to increase their spending with local businesses since the start of the pandemic. So, whether you buy online from a local Etsy store, or head over to an independent on the High Street, you are making your area a better place to live.

Independent Middlesbrough, a blog championing local businesses in Teesside, has launched a member’s card to keep cash in the local economy. Each card gives you a year of discounts with over 120 businesses in our area, with many places to shop, drink and eat listed on their website – an easy way for you to support our local independents. The card can be purchased online through the Independent Middlesbrough website for £15 each, or 2 for £20 if you fancy treating a friend to one this Christmas.

The Tees spoke to a few businesses in the Tees area about what shopping locally this Christmas means to them:

Jonny at The Poster Parlour says, “Shopping locally and independent this Christmas is a fantastic opportunity to support people in our area during a difficult year to ensure those businesses continue to flourish in the future.”

Eve, owner of Plant Preservation Society in Billingham says, “Buying local means everything not just for us for our community, for our local high street for every small business so we can survive & come out the other side.

“We were booked for events for the full year and everyone except Saltburn Farmers’ Market was cancelled. Recently Saltburn Farmers’ Market has also had problems in November when it was cancelled at short notice when other local markets have gone ahead.

“It’s so important to not just support independent shops but support your local market and any small business if you can.”

The North Project adds, “Shopping locally is hugely important. It helps our local economy and helps preserve the identity of the area, keeping it unique.”

Lucy at Lucy Kitch Creative, who creates hand-illustrated graphic drawings of Teesside landmarks, says, “It gives me great satisfaction to be able to support my local area. I am very proud to be able to promote the beautiful North-East of England through my drawings and also by shopping locally and promoting fellow North-East artists.”

Sarah, owner of Moon and Jewel and a teacher for hearing impaired children says, “People shopping locally has been one of the best things to come out of lockdown. I am personally a massive fan of buying small. Most of my Christmas presents, I have bought small and I’ve bought handmade. A lot of people don’t realise that Etsy is all small businesses, and many make things at home.

“Because people are depending on that income, and the customers, they give tailored customer service as they strive to be the best they can be and give the best customer service they can. Shopping on Etsy is such a personal service!

“It makes me feel amazing when someone shops from my Etsy store. It feels like a huge compliment. I feel so happy and grateful. “

Tweet us, or message us on Instagram or Facebook to tell us your favourite local businesses in the area… Will you be buying local this Christmas? Why not check out our BUY LOCAL directory?


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