6 Reasons to Love Indies
Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Blur, Kasabian….I do love a bit of Indie music and as for Indiana Jones, well Indie is just a legend. It is the Independent shops and businesses in Christchurch that I am most passionate about though.
In today’s fast paced, internet obsessed world the little Indies do sometimes get overlooked (the small shops I am now referring to, not Damon Albarn.) Independent businesses are so crucial in our community, I should know as I run one, use them and see the positive effects they have. Sadly, over the years I have also seen quite a few leave the area. The old adage should be at the forefront of our minds;
If you don’t use it, you will lose it
Here are the six top reasons why I believe we should all be loving and supporting our local independent businesses:
1. The Shopping Experience
Buy online, miss the posty, receive the incorrect size/colour/item, faff around with emails, order numbers, queues in telephone calls to get it changed. Sound familiar? Internet shopping might be quick and convenient at times but it definitely has its drawbacks as well as being environmentally unfriendly — all that packaging and travelling.
Pop down to your local high street and have a browse through some unique, quirky items, often handmade with gift wrap options. Actually see and feel what you are about to spend your hard earned money on. Local businesses have you in mind and will be buying stock for its clientele not the masses like the big chains. Indies will also often be able to source a product if they do not stock it, personal customer service is a priority.
Don’t forget to have a chat with the owner. They will be keen to impart their knowledge and give advice on products and their services. Also, it’s great to just chat for chattings sake! I have many friends who I’ve got to know over the years who started out as customers.
Many local businesses also run groups, workshops or have cafes so you can get to meet people, learn a new skill and have fun. Below are just a few of the Christchurch Independents running courses and workshops:
@littlesewingco The Little Sewing Company has all the fabric you could possibility imagine and runs very popular workshops and courses for adults and children
@cakedecorator Cake-Links is the cake decorating supplies specialist and also run demonstrations and courses
@ClayStudioDorse At The Clay Studio you can get creative and create your own pottery and enjoy a cuppa, or something stronger in their licensed.
@thomasandlucia Thomas & Lucia have beautiful gifts and home accessories and also run painting workshops
These are just a few examples of what’s on in Christchurch, if you have a favourite to share, please tweets us @xchurchconnect.
4. Boost Your Local Economy
By spending your money in local independents, you are in effect investing in your local community rather than funding a yacht for a corporate Fat Cat. Local businesses often use other local business and some support local charities and fund raisers which are close to the community’s heart.
Totally Locally explains that ‘If you spend £10 in a local shop it is worth up to £50 into the local economy’. The Magic Tenner works because most shops will use other local businesses. Thereby by buying local you are also supporting many other businesses in Christchurch, well done you!
Also, research by American Express found that house prices near a prosperous town centre have risen by an average of £40,000 more over the past decade than other properties (Source, The Guardian)
5. Loyalty Cards
Remember that Independents are not necessarily more expensive. Small shops are aware what they are up against and want your business so will often keep their prices competitive. Nectar and Tesco cards are so 2016! There are plenty of loyalty cards and schemes around Christchurch where you can get a good deal and know that you are helping your local economy. Which ones do you use?
6. Last but not least….
Whilst I have highlighted the benefits of shopping locally, I am realistic and do understand that we live in a supermarket culture. So even if it is not possible to do the ideal and shop locally all of the time, let’s try and spend at the very least a fiver there each week. As the social enterprise Totally Locally explains:
If every adult in the UK spent just £5 per week in their local shops & businesses, instead of going online or outside the area, it would be worth £13.5 billion going directly back into our towns. Which means real jobs, better facilities & nicer places to live.
Totally Locally HQ@totallocalhero
If you can or do shop local all of the time, then that is amazing and please do shout about it and get others to follow. Let’s keep our town brimming with unusual shops and small businesses as they add so much interest, value and important revenue to our community.
Make time this week to follow in Indiana Jones’ footsteps. Pop on your leather jacket and fedora*, grab a large satchel and head off on an adventure in Christchurch to unearth some hidden treasures. I’ll keep an eye out for you and do report back what you have found.
Please post photos of your purchases or comments about your experiences to
& use the hashtag #christchurchconnect
Thanks for reading x
- hat is optional🤠