This year has been different, dreadful and dire for small businesses. Month after month businesses were faced with new restrictions to work with on top of losing business altogether during each lockdown.
I remember sitting at home after a long week at work and watching the news. It was just after Liverpool were put into Tier 3 of restrictions and pubs had to close…AGAIN. I felt tired, gloomy and considered how much longer I could carry on this way. Until I heard her. Until I heard a lady on the news crying out of despair. She wasn’t asking for any more financial support from her boss because she recognised that he was in as desperate situation as her. She wasn’t asking for anything. She was just sobbing at a hopeless situation.
It brought it all into perspective and I felt grateful.
This is why this year I set myself a challenge. Christmas shopping for me in the most recent years has always been a rush. I work in retail and Christmas is our busiest time. I go to bed at night thinking about Turkeys, Hams, Fruit and Veg. By 24th December I know what half of Suffolk are having on their tables the next day, item by item. It’s so easy to head to Amazon and have everything bought within the space for three hours. But Amazon are doing fine.
This year is so different.
I decided I would start my shopping early and on each Sunday during lockdown 2.0 I spent a little time searching. I was well prepared so I wasn’t panicked and my aim was to buy EVERYTHING from small and, if possible, local businesses.
Guys, I think I’ve done it! And I am very happy with my gifts. I even received a package the other day and on the label was a handwritten message thanking me for buying from a LOCAL, FAMILY business. It made me feel warm inside.
Here are a few small businesses I’ve used if anyone is struggling for ideas:
All blog posts can be found at https://www.harrietmills.co.uk/ and to read my published work visit my portfolio. My debut novel, Dear Brannagh, is out now.