Shop local this Black Friday, and maybe every Friday!
Forget Black Friday – this week is Indie Week and small retailers say it’s much better for your soul!
The Just a Card campaign have just launched Indie Week to counter Black Friday and are calling for shoppers to go with their hearts and support smaller, independent stores.
The Local Buyers Club, a discount card set up to encourage people to support independent business and save a little money in the process, is urging everyone to support Indie Week.
Basil Fansa, who founded the Club, said: “If everyone made an additional purchase every week at a local independent business it could make a real difference. Local traders rely on this month in the run up to Christmas to get them through. But the Black Friday campaign, which is fuelled by multinationals with huge marketing budgets, literally threatens their livelihoods and that in turn threatens the uniqueness of our high streets. I’d urge people to follow their hearts and support Indie Week – it’s much better for the soul!”
The Just a Card Campaign was started by London-based artist Sarah Hamilton after she read a moving account of the owner of a craft shop facing closure. A core message of the campaign, which has amassed around 50,000 social media followers, is that all purchases, however small, even ‘just a card’ are vital to the survival of small businesses.
Recent figures reveal the number of UK shops, pubs and restaurants lying empty increased by more than 4,400 in the first six months of this year as fewer people visit high street shops, pubs and galleries.
Heidi Early, of Earlybird Cards in Stoke Newington, is a member of the Just a Card campaign. She said: “We know how much the little purchases make a difference to our survival and really want to get the message out there that everyone CAN make a difference.
“Every time someone buys from us it confirms we’re doing the right thing, designing the right cards and buying from the right creatives, we really care. It literally makes us do a happy dance inside!”
Here’s 10 reasons to spend more of your pounds at local and independent businesses:
1. You can help build communities. Popping out to your local butcher, florist, restaurant or pub builds familiarity. It’s the way friendships are made – the old-fashioned way, through eye-contact, a friendly ‘hello’ and a little small talk. And independent businesses often organise local events which create community ties.
2. For every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, an estimated 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.
3. Experiences are richer and more colourful when you choose local and independent over national and homogeneous.
4. Most new jobs are provided by local businesses – according to the Federation of Small Businesses, small and medium sized business employ around 58% of the UK’s private sector workforce.
5. Independent retailers often stock locally-made items which aren’t available elsewhere, so you can choose things which are truly unique.
6. It’s often better for the environment. Local businesses make more local purchases, which require less transportation and they’re usually in town centres rather than contributing to urban sprawl, habitat loss and pollution.
7. Home-owners who live near high streets with thriving independent businesses benefit from a boost in property value.
8. Customer service is often better.
9. You can sometimes try before you buy – it’s a great way to discover new flavours.
10. Through initiatives like The Local Buyers Club, independent retailers can use their discretion to reward local and loyal custom and that means savings for you. The Local Buyers Club helps promote local and independent businesses and encourages people to spend a little extra locally if possible.
Support and save at local and independent businesses near you. Join the Local Buyers Club here.
What is the Local Buyers Club?
We're on a mission to help you discover & support the best local & independent businesses. We also organise and support community initiatives.
JOIN NOW for just £12
We've negotiated discounts of up to 30% for our members at over 120 awesome restaurants, shops, bars and businesses throughout North and East London. We help promote them and raise awareness of the advantages of shopping locally.
Join the Local Buyers Club and, for just £12 per year, you'll be helping to support local business and you'll receive a discount card to use at any of the 120+ businesses listed on the site.
Some of the 120+ local businesses offering discounts to club members: