Why you should support local businesses when doing your Christmas shopping

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 27 Nov 2017

Year Six children at St Martin’s Prep School in Grimsby, have been learning about how shopping locally can help their local economy for their class assembly.

To achieve this, they hosted a special ‘Support Local Christmas Shop’ event in support of local businesses, with over 20 local independent businesses taking part.

Inspired by the Totally Locally North East Lincolnshire Campaign (which launched last month with a Fiver Fest Fortnight) St Martin’s hopes to raise awareness of the importance of buying from local independent stores and businesses rather than just the nationally-known organisations located in towns and online.

The Support Local Christmas Shop event was a chance for parents and children to get a head start on the Christmas shopping whilst supporting local independent stores. With mulled wine, Christmas music and over 20 stalls full of perfect gifts for the whole family, it really kick-started that festive feeling!

Parents and pupils attend the Support Local Christmas Shop event, at St Martin's Preparatory School, in Bargate, Grimsby (Image: Rick Byrne)

Jo Smedley, local business owner and co-organiser of the Totally Locally campaign in North East Lincolnshire commented: “It's really lovely that St Martin's School have made the decision to support local business.

“The younger generation are very focussed on internet based shopping, and encouraging them to support local business means we are also teaching them about how valuable it is to spend locally to support the local economy.

“Small business employs more people nationally than big business. Shopping local stimulates the economy and therefore increases jobs available to school leavers within the local area too.”

Totally Locally NEL is being led by Nic Till of Riverhead Coffee and is a no government sponsored ‘buy local scheme’: a movement by local business for local business. If every household in North East Lincolnshire spent just £5 of their weekly budget in their local independent shops, instead of online or at the big supermarkets, it would generate an extra £30 million a year, all going into the local economy.

Headteacher Mr Stephen Thompson added: “We recognise the importance of being an integral part and supporting our local community.

“As a small school, the links to our local community have great importance. Many of our children may be future local business owners whilst many of our parents are currently part of the local economy – it’s vital to support that.”

Pictured making bracelets at the Support Local Shops event at St Martin's Preparatory School are Sarah Wyatt, of Treasured Bouquets, with her children, Arthur Wyatt, 6, and Elsie Wyatt, 6, and school headmaster, Stephen Thompson (Image: Rick Byrne)

Local business owner and St Martin’s parent Sarah Wyatt said: “Being a part of today’s ‘Support Local Christmas Shop’ event is such a positive way to teach our children the importance of supporting small businesses.

“I’m a parent here at St Martin’s and also have my own floristry business based in Old Clee.

“It’s too easy nowadays to pick up a bunch of flowers from the supermarkets but when you need something specific like wedding or funeral flowers, it’s the florists people turn to – but what happens if they aren’t in business any more through lack of support.”

For more information about Totally Locally, go to totallylocally.org

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