Traders calling for people to shop local this Christmas to help businesses survive
Sunderland shops need you!
As part of the Echo’s ongoing #supportlocal campaign, today we’re urging people to #clicklocal and buy from local shops and traders, online or in store where possible, this Christmas to help ensure their survival.
During lockdown we conducted our Big Conversation survey with readers in which we asked how life had changed during the pandemic, from their wellbeing to their shopping habits. In response to the survey, 43% said they were supporting local businesses more since the pandemic began and 73.7% agreed with the statement: "The Christmas period will be a good opportunity to support local businesses."
Now we’re urging people to show their support when they’re doing their Christmas shopping, whether that’s buying your turkey from a local butcher, your fruit and veg from your local high street or gifts from independent traders, whether through their websites or in store for those who’ve been able to remain open in Lockdown 2.
At Grinder Coffee Company in Durham Road they’ve launched a Grinder Gift Card which can be used to buy coffees, cakes, as well as homewares which are sold in store. The store is one of many which has remained open for takeout in the second national lockdown.
Michael Curtis from Grinder said: "There’s a wealth of creativity in the city and we found out about a lot of small businesses through conversations with our customers. We decided to just do take out after lockdown 1, so we’re utilising the sit-in space to provide more of a retail offering.”
Sunderland brands stocked at Grinder include MBC Ceramics, Under The Ivy florists, On My Wick candles and Terra Homeware who makes terrazzo trinket trays and more.
They also work with local bakers for their cakes, which change regularly with stock from the likes of Cookie Freaks. They’re also working with city institution Müller's Bakers to provide an exclusive range for Grinder.
Barlow’s Fruit and Veg in Sea Road, Fulwell, is hoping people will remember them when getting in supplies for their Christmas dinner, as well as the rest of the year.
Owner Kevin Barlow said: “We have been seeing a lot more people shop local. I think one of the main reasons is that people are not going on buses or going into the supermarkets, because they feel safer using their local shops.
"We only allow up to four people into the store at one time and 95% of those follow the one way system, whereas people congregate in the bigger stores. Our busy period for Christmas is usually only three days before, but people should support small business all year. If you don’t use them, you’ll lose them.”