There has never been a more important time to support local businesses and organisations.

When Covid first took hold, public support allowed companies to survive and kept people employed. In the current economic climate, it is just as important.

If we don’t support each other, the knock-on effect will be massive. It’s not just the business that suffers, but its staff, their families, suppliers, their staff… all the way to the beginning of every supply chain.

So far, the UK Government’s promised support will do nothing to help most businesses survive the coming storm. The economy can only grow if people have money to spend.

With costs of produce rising and utilities going off the scale, businesses are being forced to increase prices to pay their bills and keep staff in jobs. A lack of spare household income is creating a barrier.

Independent businesses need footfall and online sales, so – in the lead-up to Christmas, with people counting every penny – what can we do about it?

Shopping local is a must. Produce from the butcher, for example, may seem expensive, but it depends what you are really looking for. There is often no waste when you buy quality, they are a great, one-stop shop for your festive meals, and most now have a delivery service, so can compete with any national company on convenience.

Facilities for shopping local online will only grow and improve, so, if you are ordering your next pair of hiking shoes (shh, don’t tell Viktorija) or starting your Christmas shopping, think of the small businesses you could use.

Restaurants and cafes need bums on seats all year round, not just for Christmas (or other special occasions). My big bugbear is the no-show: people booking a table and not turning up, with not even a phone call to cancel. This affects the business massively, as the chance of a walk-in is slim, meaning a total loss of sales and a kitchen full of stock.

Book your Christmas nights out or staff appreciation treats now. It’s good to be kind

One of the good things to come out of Covid is that more restaurants take a deposit for bookings, so customers have paid something upfront. If they don’t turn up, the business can still afford to pay their team’s wages.

Going out regularly, even for just a catch-up and light lunch, helps businesses – but it’s also social and good for your mental health. In the same vein, book your Christmas nights out or staff appreciation treats now. It’s good to be kind.

Spend wisely and spend well, so we don’t end up with more empty shops and closed businesses in the New Year.

Calum Richardson is owner of The Bay Fish & Chips in Stonehaven

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Calum Richardson: Here’s how to show support for local businesses this winter

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19.10.2022

There has never been a more important time to support local businesses and organisations.

When Covid first took hold, public support allowed companies to survive and kept people employed. In the current economic climate, it is just as important.

If we don’t support each other, the knock-on effect will be massive. It’s not just the business that suffers, but its staff, their families, suppliers, their staff… all the way to the beginning of every supply chain.

So far, the UK Government’s promised support will do nothing to help most businesses survive the coming storm. The economy can only grow if people have money to spend.

With costs of produce rising and........

© Evening Express


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