As we head towards December, we are surrounded by Christmas. The Christmas shopping period seems to have well and truly started in November, as Black Friday is flashed across our screens and encourages us to make the most of the bargains being sold at cut down prices.
Consumers can often feel obliged to buy on Black Friday, just to avoid missing out. But are these deals sustainable? And what are the consequences for you and your local community?
In the fight-back, UK Small Businesses have come together to create Small Business Saturday, reminding people to shop small and support independent retailers. Is it more important to shop locally, and pay a fair price all year round in order to support your community?
Black Friday, originating from the US, is the name given to the day after Thanksgiving Day, the 4th Friday of November. Historically, this has been considered the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, although it has been much more widely talked about since 2000. Take a look at Beccy’s recent blog for some more stats on last year’s Black Friday.
Whether you love or hate this newest Christmas import, it’s fast becoming one of the UK busiest shopping days with plenty of consumers looking to bag a bargain!
Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday was introduced in 2010 by the credit card company American Express. The campaign was launched to help raise the profile of small businesses and highlight the importance of shopping locally, within your community.
Small businesses, in-particular retail outlets, are operating in an increasingly competitive market place. Hefty high street rents, an increase in business rates and a general rise in costs across the board all combine to create a challenging environment for our local independents.
So, why should we shop local and support our small businesses?
Choosing a local business over a larger well-known brand has many benefits to you and your community, here are a few reasons:
• Job creation: small businesses create a range of jobs for those within the community.
• Community Cash Flow: Research shows that spending in your local independent shops, means more money for your community. The shop owners are likely to spend your money within the local community by also choosing to ‘shop local’, thus circulating the money and allowing your community to thrive.
• Customer service and experience: By using a local business you can meet with them face to face to discuss your requirements. There are no long call waits in queue for the customer service representative!
• Reduced carbon footprint: help the planet by shorter travel to local shops with no need to have your goods ‘shipped’ to you.
• Originality: a small business can really understand your needs and ensure that they deliver an individual, tailored solution.
• Lastly, you will usually find that small business owners are very often mentors and donors to all sorts of charitable causes within the community and will have a vested interest in ensuring the community thrives.
To support local businesses in Reigate the Reigate Business Guild have organised this year’s Christmas Fayre on December 1st. The fayre is held on Church Street, which will be closed to traffic, starting at 12 till 5pm. There will be entertainment, foods stalls, a tombola and of course plenty of local traders’ stalls to browse.
So come along and support Small Business Saturday, next week on the 1st December.