Every year is tough for small businesses, but even more so in 2020. However, this time of year is perfect for boosting our economy, especially with these 7 ways to support local businesses this Christmas.
These gifts are perfect for mum, dad, siblings, friends, colleagues and pretty much anyone else in your life. You can also check out our dog gift guide if you’re after some sneaky gifts for your four-legged friends.
Other Christmas ideas you may enjoy:
- Christmas storage hacks for 2021.
- Christmas tree alternatives for a sustainable Christmas.
- Dangerous Christmas foods for pets.
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
9 Ways to Support Local Businesses This Christmas
1. Buy restaurant gift vouchers.
If you’re like me, you always plan to catch up with people in the new year, but something always gets in the way. Buying restaurant gift vouchers and pre-booking a day isn’t only a great way to support local businesses this Christmas, but helps you stay social too.
Aside from being a thoughtful present, the gift voucher injects money into the business immediately. This is extremely useful to them, especially if they had to close for a period of time due to restrictions.
Most cafés and restaurants offer gift vouchers either online, by phone or in-person, so it’s easy to organise. When working out how much to put on the gift voucher, consider how many people your gift is for, times the most expensive dish by two, plus add on a minimum of one drink per person and a shared entree.
Alternatively, if you have friends or family members who are new parents, give them the gift of a night out and offer to babysit. It’s both a way to show you care and are thinking of them, plus gives you an opportunity to bond with the new addition to the family.
2. Book a staycation.
A romantic trip for two. Girls’ trip. Lads’ weekend. Treat mum. A staycation with anyone in your life is the perfect way to support local businesses this Christmas. By staying local, you’re staying within your bubble (despite restrictions allowing travel) and bolstering your community, who are very much in need.
To book a staycation, reserve a room at a local hotel, plan some restaurants to dine at and schedule a few activities in your area you don’t get to visit often or haven’t seen or done before. You may even bundle the staycation with some of the other gifts in this list, like pre-paying for a day spa for you and the girls, or buying some restaurant gift vouchers.
3. Gift a beauty bundle.
With beauty services being one of the heavily regulated industries this year, supporting hair, nail, beauty and massage businesses this Christmas is highly recommended. Many are offering great deals at the moment for bulk bookings, including facials, laser treatments, nails and more.
Try and find out the gift recipients’ regular treatments and preferred salon, or spoil someone who doesn’t tend to treat themselves. It’s recommended you book directly through the business, as the coupon and external booking websites take additional fees.
4. Sign up to a flower subscription service.
Give the gift that keeps on giving to both your loved one and a business this Christmas by signing them up for a flower subscription service. Many local florists have started flower subscription services where they deliver fresh flowers to your door every month.
The bouquets, wreaths or flower displays are often themed to the month with the blooms of the season. For example, the flowers you receive for the month of December may include some popular Christmas flowers, but in January, the peak summer flowers, or in winter, some brilliant cooler-weather florals.
A flower subscription also helps support local businesses this Christmas as they receive a monthly amount from you for 12 months or more.
5. Pre-book an experience.
Who else has lived in the same region for years but never seen the popular tourist attractions or visited local landmarks? Living somewhere with popular locations can often have you taking them for granted that they’ll always be there. However, this year, we learned without the support of locals, if hard times hit, they may not be around in the future.
So, to help support your region this Christmas, give the gift of being a tourist with a friend or family member for a day. Take a trip to an amusement park, do a coffee or pub crawl, visit local attractions or simply pre-book for sites around town. Not only is this supporting businesses this year, it’s giving you valuable time with those you love.
6. Shop for handmade gifts.
Who picked up a crafty hobby during lockdown? There are those of us who were doing it to pass time and those who turned their hobby into an income source. Many of the crafts are decorative pieces for the house, so are ideal for Christmas gifts.
Top places to find handmade gifts are local markets (including Christmas markets), Etsy, Depop or local Facebook groups. As they aren’t big operations, there is a lot of love and care put into every item made and gifted. Some are even hand making wrapping paper so you don’t even need to decorate your gift before giving.
7. Plan a locally sourced Christmas feast.
If you’re planning the family Christmas lunch or dinner this year, consider shopping only from local butchers, delis, fruit and veg stores, grocers and brewers. Many of the local food and drink retailers use local suppliers also, so you’re helping more than one business this Christmas.
For some popular items, like a Christmas ham or turkey, you may want to pre-order now as even the big retailers run out leading up to the big day.
8. Share Christmas offers and content online.
Some families or friend groups opt to not give gifts at Christmas, or they don’t celebrate the festive season. While you may not be shopping up a storm in December, you can help spread the word of local businesses to those who are.
Simply by sharing local business Facebook or Instagram pages, offers or posts, you’re helping them reach more people. By engaging with their organic content, you’re helping tell the social media platforms you love their content, which will encourage them to put it in front of more people.
9. Organise a local office Kris Kringle.
It may be only a week until Christmas, but there is still time for a quick office Kris Kringle or Secret Santa. While the only theme of Secret Santa is often a price range, why not also encourage them to buy from Australian businesses. This will give the businesses support this Christmas, and help open more people up to Australian brands they may not yet know about.
For even more presents you can give to support local businesses this year, find your local gift shop! Find one on localsearch.com.au.