Thinking about lockdown affecting us all in different ways, I’ve noticed a trend of people realising that shopping locally is now more important than ever.
I’ve been seeing several amazing initiatives around the world aiming to support small businesses, from online guided haircuts to bar and restaurant vouchers (to be used when shops are reopened).
With this in mind, I would love to know:
How is your local community coming together to assist small-scale businesses and have you got any favourite local shops that you’ve been supporting lately?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts,
In S.Korea we've just started to receive covid-19 relief grants in the form of gift certificates or pre-paid debit cards. Anywhere from about US$ 400~1000 depending on # of dependent family members and income bracket, valid for use till end of August. (I was told a small minority who were already on social welfare are even eligible for direct cash deposits.)
There are some limitations on where the credit/certificates can be used - for instance, we're not allowed to use them for online shopping or at large chain retail stores. Not at Starbucks or any other nationwide/global coffeehouse chains, but yes at your local bakery or independently owned local cafe or mom-and-pop store. Absolutely not at karaoke bars or clubs..... Lol~
Except for a few specific items we buy in bulk and get delivered (such as cleaning products and TP), Henry and I have always preferred to shop locally so we are very happy to be able to use our relief credit at our favorite greengrocers, butcher shop, bakery and noodle & gimbap place :-)))
That's so amazing, @Jessica-and-Henry0!
It's lovely to see local governments not only providing aid to citizens, but also encouraging locals to shop at small businesses. And according to the articles it seems to be going great for local shops, that's super nice to know 🙂 Thanks a lot for sharing!
Have local shops been delivering or are people being able to buy from them in person?
I was thinking about this the other day and I think this is a great time for people to support their local shops. In my area, you can often find foods that are often sold out in the big supermarkets and it's nice to have a bit of a natter with people at the same time (social distancing of course).
There is a really lovely Italian restaurant down the road, the food is great and the owner is amazing at recognising you–so it's a favourite of mine. He closed his shop for a couple of weeks and built a food bar at the front, so now he can sell takeaway Italian treats and amazing pizza slices–and when eat-in is allowed he can use the bar as an actual drinks bar and have the rest of the restaurant. I imagine he will continue with the takeaway during the day as well, which should bring him more traffic. It's really inventive and quick thinking, and he seems to be winning the support of the locals which is great to see.
I've also mentioned a few times here in the CC about my love of refill/plastic free shops. Some of the hardest things to buy at the moment is flour and yeast (I think everyone is baking - which is really nice). My local refill has lots of both of these and since lockdown they have set up an online shop and now do a local delivery service. I'm getting my shower wash/hard soap/shampoo all in cleaned reused containers and it's working super well.
There is a slight feeling that many people are reverting back to ways of doing things, baking is getting a revival, local travel, smaller shops–I also heard that local/craft beer in the UK is doing well too. I would be really interested to hear what others think on this.
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@Liv I feel it is now more important than ever to support our small, local businesses. They are essential for our economy. They bring growth and innovation to our communities. They provide employment and create entrepreneurship opportunities and support the local economies, communities and neighborhoods.
The also care about their community. They know their customers by name; they are our neighbors and friends. They are what make our towns special and unique. Our city has a directory of all local, small businesses on their website, and we make it a point to shop at several of them weekly.
Restaurants, as you know, are hit especially hard. Our community has established a virtual tip jar online where we can send a tips to the staff of various, local restaurants. 🙂
@Lizzie @Ann489 Those are amazing points, local shops deliver a lot more than just goods and services, they are a vital part of a community's identity, and it's lovely to see them being valued and supported.
It gives me a lot hope thinking about the fact that people are going back to basics. The increase on rates of things as varied as home birth and organic products come to mind as perfect examples of that 🙂
The virtual tip jar idea is also brilliant and it goes to show how vital human connection is. Times may have technologically changed, but we're always looking for ways to connect - even if it's online!
What a great idea-bringing in your bottles for a shampoo refill- way back in the day the local health food store sold refillable containers along with their shampoos, lotions and bulk foods like miso (don't mix these up folks!) I hope we can go back to this excellent idea again.
Our much beloved local bakery, Acme, is selling flour & yeast to help offset the revenue lost to the restaurant trade. We have always been bakers (my scones were almost world famous, never got to host anyone from South America)
The local shops are proving more resilient than the mega chains the U.S. as well & the cost of centralizing things like slaughterhouses is becoming explicit as pig farmers can't find anyone local to slaughter their pigs & it turns out that any porker over 300 pounds won't fit into the gigantic hyper specialized factory machinery. Even in non emergency times it's very risky for the farmer to have only one outlet for his product The local butcher shops in my foodie area have relationships with area farmers & both are surviving with no real shortages. The trick may be in convincing folk that doing things in a smaller, more regional & sustainable way isn't precious & boutique and the drive to consolidate, centralize and string out supply lines in the name of efficiencies which are profitable for a few is really costly for the commons we all share, locally & globally. .
@Liv , were small town New York here, I mean really small, 474 in my town small (we live outside of town), like like 70,000 people in about 700 square miles of our county small and most of those are in 3 small cities. That said, if we can get it local, we do, mostly fresh goods, common building materials and eating out. Going out to eat is not happening right now but we do order take out from a few of our local places both to help them out and get a little variety. Unfortunately so many things were never available here even before C19 so Ebay, Amazon and the internet as a whole are a very important to being connected and relevant in the boonies. Stay well, JR
HaHa, Do you get deliveries from your local Boulangerie or Patisserie there in London? That looks like a real local London shop charging in Euros!
I wouldn't be surprised if you did, as in painting our windows using Sikkens only a few weeks ago, no local suppliers were open and the only paint availability was from Germany or China via Ebay and Amazon 🙂
Availability of produce hasn't been too bad around The Lake District where we are, local bakers are decanting flour into smaller bags and offering a delivery service and we've rediscovered the milkman. Other 'local' shops can be quite insulting towards travellers though, my daughter and her boyfriend cycled to Ullswater from here, so not visitors to the area, and the local shop there refused to serve them. God help you if you were a traveller - you'd starve!
@Ian-And-Anne-Marie0 hahaha to be honest I didn't take this picture, but I wish I had. Everything looks delicious to me! However, I do get to order from local bakeries here in London 🙂
I have also been helping out small shops back in my home town by having small gifts and treats delivered to family members. It supports small businesses and I also think it must be nice to be thought of and to receive a good surprise, especially during these difficult times.
Also, I do hope travellers have a more welcoming experience around there in the future! We all need to be helping each other out.
Delivery drivers will probably be the busiest they have ever been! We think our neighbours are trying to buy the Internet during lockdown, they're getting it delivered i small packages by a constant stream of deliveries.
Not a good show regarding not serving visitors or travellers. Bottled water and a fist full of snacks won't be depleting the Flour, Merlot and Quail eggs supply - any! 🙂
this is such a lovely post.
we live in a part of London that has seen a lot of development happen, driving big commercial businesses into the area and this is great for the local economy but I love farmers markets, restaurants etc and always share my local favorites, I have a particular one run by a young family.
Lucia, the owner is a boss lady- to give you context she was serving customers one day and was called into the kitchen. They were running low on hands and she literally reorganised her team as to delegate her workload, tied her hair up and went to the kitchen. She has been in the kitchen for over a year, and still manages their socials etc. About 6 months ago, they won #1 best brunch in London for Tripvisor- she was so proud, she literally stopped us and showed us her certificate. Alongside this she also showcases local artists works and allows for the patrons to purchase, nice side initiative.
With the lockdown she closed down the shop, sourced biodegradable packaging and shifted her business to be take away only over the weekend and back to business. Over the last 2.5 years (how long they’ve been open) I have brought SOOO many people here and they always love it. They serve traditional breakfast options, but everything is homemade and they cater for individuals who have allergies/intolérances and it’s still so delicious. Supporting people who work this hard towards their dream and maintains their standards is a pleasure for me.
I always thought Airbnb would benefit through having a referral scheme- allowing restaurants to be booked via Airbnb and some sort of referral tip being put to the host. Would push hosts to share their local favourites and also boost the economy.
I am really missing brunch, anyway stay safe all!
@Yadira22 Thanks for sharing that story! Lucia and her restaurant seem amazing and inspiring, I'll be sure to look the place up 🙂 I also love giving and receiving tips on local spots, so I greatly appreciate the recommendation.
That referral scheme idea is also great, it would definitely be an amazing way of supporting local businesses and enriching travellers' experiences. Thanks for suggesting it!