Where will YOU do your Christmas shopping this year?

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Glasgow? Braehead? Silverburn or even online? Many of us will, but have you considered the impact this makes on your local community? Most of us don’t, unfortunately, which is why I’ve really got behind Small Business Saturday UK this year.

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Now in its 3rd year, independent business owners up and down the country are making some noise about this forthcoming Saturday, the first in December, which traditionally kicks off the Christmas shopping spend in the UK.

How much are YOU planning to spend on Christmas this year? As an independent retailer myself for 15 years none of us are asking you to shift your entire Christmas spend to your local high street (we can only dream) but, are you aware of the impact just 10% of your Christmas spend would have on your local community? No, well may I share some statistics with you:

53% of consumers mistakenly think shopping from an independent retailer will be more expensive.

20% of all retail will be bought online by 2020.

Average weekly UK retail spend in Dec 2013 was £8.8 billion.

£1 spent online = 5p circulates locally
£1 spent locally = 50-70p circulates back into your local community which means:

less seasonal, more permanent jobs; lower child care costs as parents don’t have to travel out of town for work; vibrant town centre; improved local amenities; availability of innovative products and services that’s not just another clone town; unique individuality; support for local causes and events and long term sustainability…the list goes on. Eat your heart out Mary Portas!

Largs is now a BID town which means its independent business owners have come together as a recognised Business Improvement District to strengthen, improve and promote what we offer as a unique place to shop, stay or visit. Councils all over the UK are encouraging this process to put control of our town centres back into the hands of the people who best know how to run them – the business owners!

As vice-chair of Largs BID (Explore Largs) I ask all of you wherever you live to consider where you will shop this Christmas AND beyond.

Support your community and yourselves by supporting your local independent businesses.

Think: #ShopLocal and #ShopInLargs

Merry Christmas to you all on behalf of all the independent business owners in Largs

Toni x

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