Small businesses are the heart of our communities, and they play an important role in fuelling local economies and keeping our high streets active. With Christmas just around the corner, there is no better time to pop into local shops and see what they have to offer. But why should you choose to go local instead of buying from big chain retailers? 

There are plenty of great reasons - environmental and economic - why you should be supporting local businesses in Scotland this festive season. In this quick guide, we take you through some of the benefits of keeping it local when you buy presents this year. 

It Supports the Local Economy 

The local economy is just as important as the national one, and small businesses make up 60% of the total employment in the UK. That’s a massive number, and a stark reminder that our local businesses remain the very centre of the economy. 

When we support the local economy through these small businesses, it feeds into the national economy, which can help to improve the rate of recovery and bring us out of recession faster. It’s hard for us all, but spending even a little with a local business is a massive help. 

You Often Get Better Quality 

Handmade goods and those from small businesses do sometimes cost more than the big chain retailers, but what you get from the local places is quality. When items are handcrafted, more time and effort go into making them, leading to better quality in the end product. 

This means they are usually made from higher-quality materials, are more durable, and so likely to last a long time. Even things like handmade chocolates tend to have better ingredients than those found in the supermarket so that the taste will be more vibrant and rich. 

It Builds a Sense of Community 

So many towns have lost that sense of community because they stopped shopping locally or very rarely head to the high street to shop. When you see the same faces every time you go in, you start to build a relationship with the small business owners and the community around you. 

For so many places across Scotland and the UK, local businesses are the core of a community and the support, loyalty, and recognition that comes with it are unlike anything else. Keeping it local as much as possible builds the foundations of a town or village. 

You may even find that these local businesses start to hold community gatherings and events, which can bring people together and help everyone feel more connected. Sometimes, a friendly face is exactly what we need, and the social aspect that comes from shopping locally is unmatched. 

Handmade Goods are Often Unique 

You’ll find that many of the little shops on the high street are home to beautiful and truly unique items because they are all handmade. Even those that look the same tend to have marks or blemishes that give them personality and make them all the more worthwhile. 

Whether you’re buying a new hat or a stunning ornament, there is something to be said for having one that’s one of a kind as opposed to looking the same as everyone else’s. Those unique gifts are also more likely to be treasured more because of it. 

Shopping Local is Good for the Environment 

Local businesses are more likely to get their stock and supplies from local distributors, and those who shop there tend to go on foot, cycle, or use public transport. All of this helps to reduce personal and corporate carbon footprints to help reduce the impact on the environment. 

It encourages us to get outside, explore our local area, and maybe take a journey that doesn’t involve the car. Additionally, the fact that you’re buying locally sourced goods helps keep towns and villages functioning as it gives them a stronger purpose (and can even encourage visitors). 

Wrapping Up 

We hope this has inspired you to check out some of the small businesses in your area this Christmas. There are so many hidden gems just waiting to be found, and we know you’ll discover something truly unforgettable. 

If you find yourself in need of a fully customisable hat to keep your head warm (or you know someone who does), make sure to get in touch so that we at Funky Chunky Beanies can sort that problem out for you. 

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