12 ways to support local businesses

1. Shop with local independent businesses

Taking a look at what you can do in your neighbourhood is a great way to support local business. Many small businesses are run by just one person, so you could be making a huge difference to their business by shopping from them.

2. Social media

Word of mouth is one of the most valuable marketing tools for small businesses, so make sure to spread the word and share the love. Why not share local restaurant delivery menus, links to online classes/events or any offers you have spotted that might be of interest to others. A small gesture such as following your favourite small boutique and liking and sharing their content on social media can also help.

3. Leave positive reviews

It’s free to leave reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor, Google or social media. It only takes a few minutes - but the benefit to the business could be huge and could help them to attract more custom. So if you have had a good experience with at restaurant, café, beauty salon, let others know about it by leaving a review.

4. Treat yourself to a local takeaway or delivery

Ordering from local restaurants or cafes is another way to support local businesses. Some third-party apps can charge local restaurants fees, so if you can order directly, do so.

5. Buy vouchers and gift cards

This is a great way to give patronage to local businesses. Why not help friends and family to discover local businesses by treating them to a voucher.

6. Swap to local independent brands

Try swapping out brands you’d usually buy for something which is independently made - such as local craft beers, chocolates, or clothes - and skip the chain restaurants for an independent one.

7. Offer your own services

If you have a particular skill or specialise in something your small, local business may need, e.g. social media, copywriting web design, why not contact them to offer your services at a reduced rate, or as part of a skills swap.

8. Tip and donate wherever possible

While tipping and making donations isn’t obligatory, it is a great way to show your appreciation for services, and to help support local ventures that are committing themselves to good causes.

9. Look out for shopping initiatives

Look out for initiatives such as Small Business Saturday, Love Your Local Market and Independents Day UK, which run annual campaigns to support independent businesses who often run offers and promotions to coincide with the various schemes.

10. Ask your neighbours for recommendations

Most towns and neighbourhoods have community pages set up on social media which are a great place to ask for local recommendations. Apps such as Nextdoor and local Facebook groups are also a great way to instantly connect to the people, businesses, and happenings near your home.

11. Shop with small businesses online

If you’re on the hunt for a unique gift take a look at online directories and marketplaces such as: My Virtual Wandsworth, Etsy, Not On The High Street and Folksy for handmade items – many at affordable prices.

12. Attend local markets and Christmas fairs

In the run-up to the festive season, you will find a number of local Christmas markets and fairs taking place – providing the perfect opportunity to support small businesses with great and often unique products. Take a look at what’s happening near you and get involved.