‘Tis the season to shop local fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. OK, so perhaps that isn’t exactly how the famous Christmas carol goes, but one thing is for sure, we’ve all got a new found appreciation for all things local. In fact, an October 2020 Mastercard survey found that three in four shoppers in Europe are now more likely to shop in their local communities than they were a year ago. And so, in the spirit of Christmas, we’ve got 5 reasons to love local this festive season.
1. It supports local people and local jobs.
Imagine if you could take €50 and transform it into €500 for your local area? Well, you can when you shop locally, because the money you spend at, say, your local restaurant then pays for locally grown produce, and pays the wages of staff that live nearby. The value of every €1 spent locally is multiplied several times, keeping money in the area where you live. Jackie Jolliffe is the owner of The Crafty Fox on Laurence Street in Drogheda and said: “As soon as I heard about the Drogheda Gift Card I thought it was a brilliant idea for keeping money in the locality. The better the town looks, and the more vibrant businesses we have, the more attractive the area becomes, and that is beneficial to everyone that lives, works and operates in Drogheda.”
2. It’s more sociable.
I mean, you could accomplish your Christmas shopping with a laptop and endless deliveries from your local delivery company, or you could shop in real life! An ONS Survey between October 2020 and April 2021 found that 7.2% of the UK adult population (about 3.7 million adults) felt lonely ‘often’ or ‘always’, up from 2.6 million, particularly younger people and those living in single person households. When you shop with a local business, yes, it’s about what you buy but it’s also about the experience of interacting with others. So, flex your Town & City Gift Card and get sociable! Better yet, buy one for someone in your life and help them to get out experiencing their local area.
3. Unique recommendations.
72% of us trust recommendations made by our local business owners, says the Mastercard survey. And one thing we know about the 8500 plus businesses who are part of the Town & City Gift Cards programmes is that they pride themselves on their service, helping us to discover new local producers, new brands and products that we just can’t find online. One little Town & City Gift Card is the gateway to multiple businesses in your area. Not sure what to spend it on? We reckon there’s a business not too far away who’ll have an idea or two!
4. Support when businesses need it most.
Do you know when most Town & City Gift Cards bought as Christmas presents are spent? It’s in the months of January to March, when things are at their quietest for businesses. There’s nothing small businesses will like more than seeing a local gift card come walking through their doors after the rush of the festive season.
5. It’s more festive.
There’s a definite glow that comes from supporting a local business, knowing that you’re helping them to stay in business, doing what they love. In the words of Leigh Kirker who manages family gift business Nanabelle’s in Antrim, Northern Ireland: “When you make the effort to support local businesses, you are supporting families. It’s down to people making that effort that we’re still here.” Let’s all make that effort this Christmas and love local as much as we can.