Last-minute Christmas Shopping – Checklist for Supporting Local Businesses

With COVID-19 impacting the nation these last nine months, many local shops in Glasgow expressed serious concerns regarding their businesses. Indeed, unlike previous lockdown restrictions, this recent and unexpected lockdown occurs only a few weeks ahead of Christmas. As it is the time of the year when we do our merry shopping, how can we support small and local businesses in our community while ticking off our wish lists?

Check Out Local Online Newspapers:

Run out of ideas for a perfect gift for your mum? Don’t worry! The local newspapers have you covered. With the lifestyle sections of Glasgow Live and Glasgow Times frequently recommending local businesses and restaurants, you can always visit these articles online for your perfect gifts and Christmas takeaway feasts! This year, I had no clue of what to buy as a Secret Santa gift for my friend. Looking through shops recommended on Glasgow Live, I came across a ‘wee’ thrift shop in Southside. With a couple of clicks on their e-commerce platform, I guess someone is getting a stylish bangle for their present!

Fully Leverage Social Media:

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are always the best places to discover the trendiest items. Yet, with social media algorithms, it is often difficult for us to locate local businesses among discount promotions from corporate brands. To tackle that, there are hidden hacks that you can use for seeking last-minute Christmas present ideas. Following particular hashtags, e.g., #shoplocalglasgow or liking Facebook pages of SME-support organisations, e.g., @SuperMarketEventsScotland are some of many ways to look for local enterprises. From hand-made soap to artisanal whisky brands, you will come across Christmas gift ideas that you have never thought of before.

Besides looking for inspiration on social media, you can also be an inspiration to others! Amid the pandemic, local businesses lack publicity to promote their products and services. To help them, you can share gift ideas from local shops on your social media, spreading the word to your followers. Of course, don’t forget to tag your favourite city shops in your Facebook post or Instagram stories! People are more likely to click the tags and check them out.

Visit Virtual Christmas Events:

Although physical Christmas events were put on hold this year, many organisations decided to move their events to the Internet. From entertainment activities to not-so-traditional online markets, these events aim to help small businesses adapt to COVID-related restrictions. If you have time, feel free to check out Wee Christmas ShopChristmas virtual gaming tour, and Super Market Virtual. While some of them may be closed days before Christmas, you can still check out their social media and get your Christmas ideas there!

I hope these tips can help you find the perfect gift at the eleventh hour! Certainly, this list is not exhaustive, and I bet there are many other ways to help local enterprises. Indeed, with Christmas just around the corner, while we are looking for presents for friends, families and love ones, spending a bit of money on local businesses might be a secret present to our community after all.

[Ernest Shiu – he/him – @shiuology]

[Image Credit: Ernest Shiu]

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