Support local independent businesses!
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you will know that I have been an advocate for sharing my love for all things local and independent.
I am trying my best (despite everything happening in the world right now, the constant mood swings and the up’s and down’s of everything on the news) to keep going with my blog and to wave the flag high for supporting local and independent businesses.
I also want to keep updating you with all what’s happening in regards to what’s available during this time and inspire you to keep shopping local and independent, which is especially important during this time.
I have been writing about this topic since 2017, so it’s only right I don’t stop now!
That’s why I have decided to create my own blog tag!
I attempted making one earlier this year which was a 5 things I love about my hometown where I managed to get a few bloggers to join in and where I wrote about Towcester, but I thought I would take it one step further and create:
The Shop Local & Independent Businesses Tag!
If you want to get involved, all you have to do is copy and paste the questions below into your own blog post, share and tag/link me in your blog post/social media so I can see your answers!
For now, I will also write my answers to give you a bit of an idea and I will also be tagging some people to get the ball rolling below…
When did you start realising the importance of supporting local?
I think I realised from a young age that supporting local was important, as I grew up in a local high street that had small businesses who were dying due to lack of business and my family have always been big advocates of supporting local too.
I lived in Kent for a lot of my childhood and I remember growing up around local businesses who traded by the seaside and how upset I was, even at a young age, when one of our favourite shops closed down due to lack of business.
I think it’s kind of cemented in me that supporting local is important.
Why does supporting local and independent businesses mean so much to you?
It means a lot to me because I have friends and family who have small businesses of their own and I can’t imagine them not having their livelihoods.
Again, it goes back to the closed shop in Kent by the seaside – I remember feeling that gut-wrenching feeling of sadness passing it every time we saw the closed sign.
I also think it means a lot to me because living in Northamptonshire, I admire all the local businesses that we have here and when we first moved here, we wanted to make the most of our area by exploring as much as possible – most of my earliest memories of moving here weren’t going to a chain restaurant, but rather an independent.
And my earliest blog posts on here were all about exploring my local area and seeing what independent businesses were around, so it’s definitely something close to my heart.
Name 3 local businesses you have purchased from in the last month?
In the last month, I have purchased from definitely more than 3 businesses, but to name a few, The Farm Shop Co who have a whole range of fresh produce, plus collab with other small businesses like Vicky’s Kitchen and Spread, so it’s a win win!
Which local and independent businesses do you love to support frequently? (purchased more than once)
Again, I’ve frequently purchased from a lot of small businesses, but the ones I seem to keep coming back to are Friars Farm, as you can never have enough jam on your toast for breakfast, or chutney for dipping with cheese!
Pink Clouding, especially during lockdown and whilst we are staying at home more, as Emma’s t-shirts are incredibly comfy when you don’t want to dress up too much, plus they have awesome slogans to make you feel badass.
And finally, we often find ourselves purchasing lots from Ten Hands Cafe Bar when they are open for coffee, but whilst they are currently closed, we have been going to Whittlebury Bakery quite frequently to get our essentials as well as a takeaway coffee now and again!
How often do you say you try to support a local and independent business on a weekly basis?
Right now, I’d say I’m ordering up to 3 times a week on local and independent businesses, whether that’s for essentials at our local bakery or farm shop, OR to purchase something online for local delivery such as a takeaway, or to treat myself to something nice!
I find myself supporting the independent food and drink producers a lot more, as I cook a lot with them in the kitchen, and thanks to online markets like the Northants Online Food & Drink market, I am able to purchase something on a bi-weekly basis.
Do you have any local independent alternatives you can recommend over a chain/big business?
YES! So many I should make a blog post out of it!
If you’re ever craving a Nando’s, Five Lads in Northampton is your alternative which is cheaper and tbh, better tasting and has more flexibility on options. Highly recommended!
Again, I will always drink Saxby’s Cider over any big cider business, purely because Saxby’s has a much more natural and far less sugary taste.
Bread & Circus in Daventry over Zizzi’s is also a great shout if you’re after delicious, stonebaked thin crust pizza!
What’s your favourite way to support local independent businesses?
My favourite way is usually by going out and stepping into a shop/cafe/restaurant to support local independent businesses.
I find when you go inside and say hello and meet the owners, you get a much better sense of what the company is all about and how they treat customers.
Some of my best interactions with small business owners have always been when I’ve gone to visit their stand at food fairs and festivals. I can confidently say I’ve made lots of solid connections because of this.
But right now, during the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve had to resort to supporting my favourite businesses online via their online shops.
What are your favourite small high street shops to visit?
Oh how much I miss the high street!
I love stepping inside florists like Miss Lillie’s and Perkin’s Florists to pick up fresh flowers, going into the local charity shops like Age UK and Brackley Antiques Centre and seeing what second-hand clothes and items I can use for fashion and in my home.
I also love visiting local bakeries such as Whittlebury Bakery and breathing in that freshly baked produce, a homeware and gift shop where I can fill my home with treasures such as MOOCH, Simply Furniture and more.
I have too many favourites to share!
What are your favourite local independent takeaways?
SO MANY because I eat too much for my own good and love a takeaway – ha!
Local takeaways I am loving during lockdown are Truva, The Rice Bowl, The Dilraj and The Olive Tree.
Other takeaways I really enjoy when I can go out and collect are June Plum, Bread & Circus, Akasaka and lots more!
READ MORE: The Independent Delivery & Takeaway Guide
Which local independent coffee shops do you enjoy?
Again, how I miss coffee shops!
I regularly visit Ten Hands Cafe Bar as it’s down the road but I also miss visiting coffee shops in Northampton like Yellow Bourbon, Olly B’s and Matchbox Cafe for coffee and chats!
I also like navigating further to Kettering where I miss chatting to the lovely staff at Old Market Inn Kettering.
When all of this is over, I may go on a coffee shop tour of Northamptonshire. Imagine it!
Do you invest in any local independent homeware/garden stuff? If so, who and where?
Now we can visit garden centres, once it calms down, I will certainly be investing more in my garden as I love visiting places like Bell Plantation and Beckworth Emporium (which are now both open) and make lovely trips out if you’re looking for homeware and garden stuff.
I’m also fond of the independent homeware and gift stores at Nene Court Shopping Village really useful for shopping for the house, and they have an online shop so you can see what is currently in stock.
Do you purchase from Etsy often? If so, give us an example of which businesses?
Etsy is a goldmine for local independent businesses!
Can you share in your own words why more people should support local independent businesses?
It’s important for many reasons, but I believe it’s truly important because what you put into a local business, goes into the local economy which right now, feels even more important.
I think more people should support local businesses because you will never have the personal attentiveness and service quite like from a small business owner – and you know whatever you’re purchasing, is totally unique compared to a chain or big business where everybody’s got the same thing.
I also think more people should support local, especially now, because I truly believe the independents make up a local area and give it their personality – and without supporting them enough, these businesses will no longer exist.
It’s simple really.
Use them = keep them.
Don’t use them = lose them
Nominate 3 people to do this tag
I really hope you enjoyed this tag! It was a bit of a ‘lightbulb’ moment as it were and I wanted something interactive that everyone could get involved with on their blogs.
During this time especially, it’s nice to see so many people really supporting their local high streets, businesses, takeaways and more in their local areas.
FYI – Instagram have now rolled out a ‘support small business’ button where you can tag small businesses in so people have a direct link to their account. SO COOL!