At the start of 2019, 99.3% of the UK’s private sector was made up of small businesses consisting of 49 or fewer employees. From these 5.82 million small businesses, annual turnover was an estimated £1.53 trillion; saying that small businesses contribute greatly to our economy is quite an understatement!
The Covid-19 pandemic has, without a doubt, affected the lives of us all this year, but small businesses have been hit especially hard. With more than half of entrepreneurs interviewed expecting to run out of money within the next 12 months and a potential 16.6 million jobs at risk, statistics from Kings College London do indeed paint a gloomy picture, but all hope is not lost yet. You can still do your bit to help our local shops get back on their feet!
This year, instead of buying your Christmas gifts from big-name brands and running to the likes of amazon for their black Friday sales, instead, make a conscious effort to shop local. Christmas is the most important time of the year for small businesses and there are some fantastic places out there selling wonderful products which need our help to survive.
There really has never been a better time to support a small business near you!
Looking for some inspiration?
Look no further.
Below I have compiled a small list of my FAVOURITE local, small businesses to buy presents from. If you’re craving more though, try the #shopsmallthischristmas tag on Instagram and remember to share the places you find with all your friends!
Let’s get shopping!
1. MOLLY PUKES
Whether it’s your gran or your bestie, everybody loves receiving a framed photo gift of happy memories with the ones they love the most. But, if you feel like spicing things up a little this year, why not opt for a drawing instead of the conventional photograph? Molly Pukes, a Leeds based cartoonist, is brilliant at creating both digital and physical cartoon keepsakes customised completely to your own liking. She even does pet portraits for all the pet lovers out there!
Check out her portfolio here on Instagram: https://instagram.com/mollypukes?igshid=12q1ccacfz6zx
2. 42ND EAST BAKEHOUSE
Christmas shopping for someone with a sweet tooth this year? Then you can’t let this one pass you by! With a delectable range of freshly made brownies, cookie pies, and bronuts – all of which taste even better than they look on the gram – this one’s a no brainer.
Usually, you’ll find this hidden gem situated in the Corn Exchange but, lucky for us, they now even offer nationwide delivery making it easier than ever to send a yummy Christmas treat from afar. If you fancy sampling the goods yourself though, don’t miss out because of lockdown; instead, why not order a share box and split the goodies as a Christmas parting gift with your flatmates? Go on, you know you want to…
3. THE PLANT POINT
For the most of us students, our life this semester has become somewhat like a real life ‘Hokey Cokey’, constantly in and out and in and out of isolation. So, when the inevitable time comes again to stay at home, make sure that you and your friends are prepared; when you can’t go outside, bring the outside to you.
With a variety of suggested psychological and physical health benefits such as mood improvement, stress reduction a reduction of fatigue by 25%, there really has never been a better year to treat your friends and family to a new houseplant for Christmas. Looking for where to buy one? Look no further than Leeds’ very own plant emporium. Both in the Corn exchange and online, The Plant Point has an impressive range of shrubs and pots to suit every budget.
Having been banished to our small student rooms for much longer than we had ever previously anticipated, I guess you could say that semester one hasn’t quite gone to plan. In preparation for semester two, however, which is looking ever so likely to be similar, I think it’s about time we all invested in some colourful and fun prints to cover the familiar and bare walls which are getting us all down. Whether you’re searching for Christmas gifts for your pals or just thinking about treating yourself (because why not? You deserve it!), Manchester based artist Tillie has you covered. With 2021 calendars, sketches from all your favourite movies, and festive wrapping paper and Christmas cards, you can find something for everyone to enjoy. With bargain prices and free UK delivery, you can feel good whilst doing good.
5. COFFEE ON THE CRESCENT
Coffee on the Crescent is a Hyde Park students’ haven with its top-notch coffee and daily dose of freshly prepared goodies! This festive season, why not treat your student pals to a £10 gift voucher for one of their favourite coffee shops in Leeds? Not only will this have your pals excited for meeting back up to celebrate in the new year, but it will also help support one of our favourite local businesses, keeping it on its feet during this tough time for hospitality.
6. JUMBO RECORDS
When it comes to presents, is there any better gift than music?
With its passionate staff members and music selection to catered for all tastes, this proudly independent business has a buzzing atmosphere unlike any music shop I have ever visited. For nearly five decades now, since 1971, Jumbo records has been spinning vinyl, hosting live music and inspiring the music taste of many a passing resident of Leeds.
While lockdown pt. 2 might, for now, be stopping us rambling through its boxes of vinyl goodies, that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer this festive season! Instead, keep the records spinning for Jumbo by purchasing your music fix via their Instagram page. With the same vast variety of music to buy online as you’d find instore, you can be sure to find a treat to suit the whole family here!
7. Little Leeds Beerhouse
Finally, if a bit of a booze is more of your Christmas gifting style then you need look no further than independently run Little Leeds Beerhouse! Rather than going to your big-brand usual this Christmas, get your tipple taste buds tingling by instead trying a selection of the finest beers and wines from around the world. From cherry coconut to maple syrup, you’re guaranteed to find a flavour you’ll enjoy. Treat all your friends and family to an arty selection of hooch via their online selection – they’ll thank you, trust me.