A genuine fear of mine is that one day supermarkets will take over the world. High streets will be ghost towns and there will be pockets of mini Vegas-like areas full of super-sized supermarkets, with everyone taking selfies in front of the famous TESCO sign…OK, this may be slightly extreme, but hopefully you get my point. High streets are super important for your local area, independent businesses are unique and supermarkets are already big enough – that’s why I am saying YAY to Small Business Saturday, which is on the 3rd December 2016! [It’s the 2nd December in 2017]
“For every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p was re-spent in the local area”¹
Be it via wages for a local person or rates paid to the local council, money spent with a small business makes the area better off. So as a good deed to help my local area (and to avoid a ‘ghost town’ coming to a high street near me!), I have put together 5 simple ways to support small businesses in my local town (Rayleigh). Some of which do not cost much – and you get something in return too, like a slice of yummy homemade cake or a local beer…Bonus!
- Need lunch?
Forget the world’s largest restaurant chain with the famous golden arches. Try a freshly made sandwich from a local sandwich shop or café – it’s likely they will use produce from the local area too, so it’s technically a double-win! Recently I had a sarnie from the Silver Spoon in Rayleigh. The sausages were from Wicks Manor, near Maldon and the deliciously thick bread was freshly baked that morning by Homemade Bakery – Yum!
- Social Butterfly?
Arrange your next catch up at a local independent coffee shop, like Squires, where they sell delicious homemade cake – and it can be guilt free as you are doing a good deed for the local area 😉 Or simply order a local beer (or two, or three…) next time you go to your local pub – a perfect excuse to arrange a ‘social gathering’ (a.k.a. a booze-up!).
- Special occasion?
I love, love, love searching for unique gifts from independent shops like Blume (and they also sell beautiful flowers – a useful tip for those who want to earn extra brownie points!) Is online shopping more your thing? Try Not on the High Street – it’s a great hub where small creative businesses sell their products online.
- Date night?
Why not simply have a meal at a local restaurant rather than a chain restaurant. Being a massive foodie, I am in the process of writing a post on my fav places to eat in and around Rayleigh. But for the time-being, here is a quick list of some must try restaurants in Rayleigh high street; Barrington Grill which is an American BBQ themed restaurant, Panchos Cantina, which serves a Mexican cuisine with a modern twist and Bogaz, a Turkish restaurant with a great varied menu. (Foodie post to follow…!)
- Family day out?
As well as being famous for the London 2012 Olympics Mountain Bike course, Hadleigh Farm offers a number of attractions for the whole family to have a great day spending quality time together. There are guided walks to see Hadleigh Castle and their commercial farm. The cakes in their tea rooms are not the only things that are lovely, as you are served by trainees from the Hadleigh Training Centre, which works to re-train people with special educational needs!
(I know this is just outside of Rayleigh but still well worth a mention!)
So, there are my 5 ideas for supporting small businesses. Do you have any other simple ways to help support small and local businesses? If so, feel free to pop them in the comment box below – I would love to hear them!
One last thing before you go, I have shared a couple of links below for small business owners and customers alike. Take a look…
If you are a small businesses
Register your business here for FREE: www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com
If you are a customer:
Find a small business near you: www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/small-business-finder
Don’t forget to Tweet, post and Instagram photos of yourself supporting local businesses with #SmallBizSatUK
If you are keen to shop local, why not check out my ‘Shop Local, Save Local‘ page for local discounts too!
Until next time, be happy and be a social local 🙂