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Support our local shops this christmas

Six Reasons to #ShopLocal & Support Small Businesses this Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… but not as we know it with the pandemic affecting everything from who we spend it with, how we prepare for it and in particular, how we shop for it. 

According to Visa, almost half of small business owners say that if everyone in their community just spent £5 extra per week it will help to keep them open long term.

By shopping locally, not only will you help boost the local economy, but you are also much more likely to receive a better standard of service and advice on products.

In this week’s guest blog, Denise Parsons, Manager at St Albans BID, shares some of the best reasons for doing your Christmas shopping in our wonderful independents and markets, and highlights just some of St Albans’ many independent stores who can meet all your Christmas needs.

Carpenters Farm Shop where you can also find the Refill Pantry

1. Boost the local economy

Research shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium business, 63p benefits the local economy, compared with 40p in every £1 spent with a larger business.  By shopping local, you are helping to create economic growth and more jobs.

2. It’s ethical

Boost your eco creds by shopping local. St Albans is home to a host of growers, producers, and makers and whether you buy at our markets or shops, you will know that your food is air-mile free.  

3. Unusual finds!

Our retailers have a brilliant eye for the quirky, one-off’s items that simply you won’t find online or anywhere else.

Books on the Hill

4. Drives local entrepreneurship

A thriving business community is driven by dialogue between sellers and customers. It’s this feedback and conversation that sparks ideas, drive product development and creates new business ideas and revenue streams. 

Eat Wholefoods

5. Exceptional customer service 

Small businesses really do care. They will go above and beyond to make customers feel special. A coffee on the house or free wrapping to save you doing it at home. Or some great advice and guidance when shopping for an important outfit.  It’s an experience you don’t get when you shop big.

6. It’s Easy!  

Before you start filling your Amazon basket, remember YOU CAN SHOP ST ALBANS ONLINE!  Local clicks really will save bricks, so think local and enjoy the same excellent delivery and click and collect services as you would when you shop with larger companies. For Harpenden stores, try the ShopLocal list

Our amazing Independent shops have everything you could possibly want and need for Christmas. Here are our top tips to inspire you to shop and support local this year, and beyond. 

Top Tips #shoplocal

  1. Unique cards and gift wrap at Panda Cards
  2. Make your own mulled wine, get herbs, spices, fruit, nuts for festive meals from Eat Wholefoods warehouse
  3. Gifts for the Grown Ups at The Beer ShopBooks on the Hill , The Odyssey and Katy’s hampers
  4. Perfect gifts for girls that love sparkle at Mini Megan Turner 
  5. Great for kids of all ages Brick Traders 
  6. Your Christmas dinner and all the extras from Carpenters Farm Shop , Box Local and The Fleetville Larder
  7. Quirky and Cool items at Cositas Gifts , Raindrops on Roses and L A James 
  8. Choose your own locally grown tree at George St Canteen 
  9. Christmas Day Outfits at Chloe James Lifestyle 
  10. Food and natural products with zero waste The Refill Pantry on London Road and new at Carpenters Farm Shop too!
  11. Perfect gift experience for those that love a pamper Ginger Natural Health

There is a complete directory of all the businesses in the district on our website along with some themed Gift Guides for more inspiration. 


You can find a local food map here with over a dozen local suppliers.. 

Wishing you all a safe and Happy Christmas,

Denise Parsons.

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