Shopping local and supporting small businesses is more important now than ever, but why? What does supporting a small business mean? Here’s my take on why it’s so important to shop small and local where ever you can.

Supporting any kind of local business, be it your local veg shop, butchers or hardware store is vitally important now, more than ever. Shopping at local, independent shops has many benefits and it often works like a chain reaction: by purchasing from local shops, you’re helping those businesses grow, sell more goods from the area and employ members of the local community, which keeps money circulating around your neighbourhood. By favouring local independent businesses that are trading in the right way, no matter what industry they operate in, you will minimise your impact and help them spread their message.

Ask yourself this, how many local businesses do you shop at? In all honesty can you say you buy your weekly groceries in town, your cheese from the cheese shop and your fish from the fish market? The answer to that is probably No and like a lot of people, shopping local isn’t always convenient or cost effective for your budget.

As a mum of 2 growing girls, a husband, 2 cats and a dog, I am more aware now then ever,  of how much we spend on food, drink and luxuries. It’s very easy to pop to Lidl and pick up your fruit and veg, your cheese and freshly baked bread because its cheap and convenient. I have shopped in chain stores all my life, just like everyone else. When we moved to Newlyn in 2019, Lidl, the Co-OP, Sainsburys etc were right on our doorstep, we drive past them all everyday so if we need a small shop or a big shop, it takes less than 10 minutes to get to any of these shops. Our fast pace of life and busy days at work and school meant that we didn’t have much time for anything, so shopping was always a rush. Lidl is my ‘go to’ shop, its a 2 minute drive from the house and a 10 minute dog walk, so convenience always takes the win.

During the first lockdown (who’d of thought we’d even have to start numbering lockdowns!) we got out and about a lot more and started to explore Newlyn and what it had to offer. In fact Newlyn has a lot to offer and there are a lot of local businesses right on our doorstep! We brought cheese from The Newlyn Cheese shop, fruit and veg from The Little Green Grocery, flowers from Plants For All Seasons and we grabbed take away coffee from Lovetts. All of these small, independent businesses are right there within walking distance and when you shop at any one of these businesses you are helping grow that business, support that family and making people happy, as well as enjoying fresh, local grown produce.

Market Bag 2

Being totally guilty of not supporting what businesses we have around us, I guess you could say that the shoe’s on the other foot now. Now that I have a small, independent business I 100% understand how important it is to have that ‘support’. My business would be nothing without the help of family, but more importantly, the support that has come from far and wide. When Newlyn Maids launched in August 2020 everything was brand new, there where things I didn’t understand about businesses, but that’s ok, because everyday you learn and everyday you grow. Fast forward 5 months, the opening our of first shop, another lockdown, Christmas, January and another lockdown, here I find myself understanding more than ever why we have to support local, shop small and be kind!

There are so many ways you can support small businesses, you don’t always have to spend money to help them. Here’s a few handy tips on how we can all do our bit:

  1. Look after your locals…… these are the people that you need when the flurry of visitors has gone, these are the people that will come back time and time again to support you. Listen to what they want, cater for their needs and you will reap the rewards.
  2. Follow them on social media, like and share their content and encourage friends & family to do the same.
  3. Write a review – it takes 2 minutes to write a little review about your experience of shopping with a local business, whether it was in person at their shop or online.
  4. Recommend them to people who are looking for products/services that they offer…… “Looking for nice coffee and cake in Newlyn” – “I can definitely recommend Lovetts, their coffee is excellent and their locally made cakes are scrumptious”
  5. Looking for a gift? Shopping local is a great alternative to Amazon and you often find  smaller, local, independent retailers have a more personal touch, from their customer service to their delivery.
  6. Shop online whilst shops are closed – most businesses that have a bricks and mortar premises are closed at the minute due to Covid, but they still have bills to pay. If they have an option to shop online with them, or they offer a click and collect service, use it! This helps them to pay their bills and keep their businesses alive. The likes of Lidl, Tesco etc don’t bat an eye lid about these things!
  7. The most important thing – keep shopping with them, keep supporting them, keep recommending them. Without any of that a lot of small businesses are sadly falling by the way side, but if you can do one thing, please do!

I feel incredibly lucky to have the continued support from people far and wide, without that I wouldn’t be where I am now. Newlyn Maid’s wouldn’t of grown to where it is now. We’ve survived one lockdown, which came 2 weeks after we opened our first shop, our online sales have been absolutely incredible and are continuing to grow by the week and we have some plans for the future that I cannot wait to share with you!

As always, thank you to each and everyone of you that helps us along our journey, the future of Newlyn Maid’s is looking positively bright and that I am proud to say, amongst the chaos of the world, this is by far the biggest positive for me!

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