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Shop locally for a real Christmas and make a real local difference

[Monday 6 December 2010]

“Trading our way out of recession” has been on the lips of politicians and businessmen all year, but now everyone has the opportunity to make a real difference to the businesses in their local communities, says CLA North.

Douglas Chalmers, Director CLA North, says: “Every year we encourage everyone to support their local businesses by buying as much of their Christmas shopping from them as possible. This year it is probably more important than ever.

“Everyone, even the non-shoppers among us, goes shopping at Christmas, so why not try to enjoy it?

“Why sit in your car for an hour, queue for an expensive parking spot, and then be elbowed by strangers on pavements and in shops where you face the same old array of expensive luxuries or novelties that have become that ‘perfect stocking filler’ simply by being put into a tinselly box; with the only respite another queue in a multi-outlet restaurant or coffee shop?

“Save time and money by simply going to your local village, market, farm shop or farmers’ market. Don’t be jostled by strangers, ‘bump into’ friends and neighbours. Why go into the same shops as people across the country when you can visit wonderful local businesses, each with their own individual character, where you can buy truly unique presents. Don’t be just a debit card number at the till; be served by someone who may recognise you, who wants to give you the best advice and who may want your trade throughout the year.

“And of course, local produce. Whether you’re buying food and drink for yourself or a present, your Christmas bird, meat or vegetables, or your Christmas tree and decorations, what better guarantee of provenance, quality or freshness is there than buying directly from the producer?

“It is very tempting to shop on-line, especially in the depths of winter and, although it seems convenient, it can be a pretty soulless way of yet again simply buying items that anyone anywhere could buy. Every courier’s van you see in your area is at least one lost sale for a business in your community.

“Your enjoyable local Christmas experience will also have serious benefits. By supporting local businesses now, you can help them survive quieter times throughout the year.

“Keeping your spending local is good for local businesses, which are good for local jobs, which are good for local communities. Your community.

“Merry Christmas.”

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