Love your Local – how to support local small business
This blog post is going to be a wee bit different to my usual. Today, rather than talking tips and tricks for wedding day photography or portrait shoots, I’m talking about something you can do, at this time of year especially, to help support local business.
Christmas, somehow, is just around the corner (when did that happen?), and we’re finding ourselves scrambling to put together gift lists. Every year, we tell ourselves, ‘I am not leaving it til last minute this Christmas’ – and, inevitably, we find ourselves rushing around open-til-midnight mega-stores, panic buying those forgotten gifts.
This year, we’ve learnt about the importance of supporting local small businesses. Rather than buying mass-made products, I’m encouraging you to shop local this Christmas season, and help support someone local who could really use it right now.
Now, I don’t want this blog post to sound like a big whinge, but let’s be honest – 2020 has been a shit year for everyone, and especially for local small businesses. One of my friends, the wonderful Becs from Stiletto Studio, recently did a fantastic Instagram post on how you can help support your local wedding industry, and with her permission I have used it as inspiration for my tips on how you can support local small business.
1. MAKE THE EFFORT TO SUPPORT LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS
Okay, yes – doing your research and visiting independently owned stores can be a bit more time-consuming than a rushed run around a mall along with hordes of people. But it’s also considerably less stressful, and hugely more rewarding. Do some digging, and you’re sure to find some local small businesses in your area who offer amazing products and services.
2. SPEND THE MONEY
The best way to get the economy humming again is to spend! Support your fave local cafe by grabbing a coffee and a scone, and spread the word about how good they are. Consider ordering a custom cake from your local baker to celebrate your kid’s birthday. Every little bit helps to keep a business running – and they’ll thank you!
3. DON’T ASK FOR FREEBIES OR DISCOUNTS
It’s really not the time for trying to hustle yourself some freebies, especially when it’s a small, independently owned business. Support local business by paying them their worth. Most small businesses run on tight margins – so while you might think it’s not a lot, if they have 30 customers who ask for the same deal, it’s going to have a huge effect on their income. Show them some love, and who knows – when things are good again, they might celebrate you, their loyal and generous customer, by sharing the love and support right back!
4. NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR A SIDE HUSTLE
If you’re thinking of starting up a side hustle while still enjoying a stable, full-time job, consider holding fire until the world has settled down. Now – no hate to all you side-hustlers out there! It’s how a lot of small businesses get started. But if it’s not essential to your income, consider that you might be taking money out of the pockets of someone who really needs it, who relies solely on their small business to get by. However, now is definitely a good time to upskill, and plan out your future business endeavours!
5. DON’T CHANGE THAT BUDGET
Had a big trip planned overseas that got cancelled? Planned on a mega birthday shindig only to need to halve the numbers with all that’s going on right now? If you have the money to spare, consider spending it anyway – but in a way that will stimulate the economy and support the small business. If you had it saved and ready to go anyway, you may as well reward all your saving efforts, and support some locals in the process. Double win!
6. DON’T BE A DICK
This is a big one! Pretty easy to follow – just treat people the way that you want to be treated. Do not back out of an almost-completed order by telling your supplier you found someone cheaper. Don’t try to get the price dropped down after you’ve already booked. Don’t ghost a company after you’ve placed an order and not paid. It’s pretty simple, really – just be a good human being, and an honest, reasonable and polite customer. It’s likely the person you are dealing with has put their heart and soul into their business, so whatever it is you’re buying, treat them with kindness and respect. This year has been stressful enough for everyone without having to deal with jerks.
Onto the fun stuff! Below are some links to my favourite local small businesses. Check them out, spend a bit of your hard-earned cash, and find yourself or someone else some treats! A warning that most of them are food related (because that’s just how I roll!).
Stiletto Studio Cakes: Becs and her team make some of the most delicious cakes I have ever tasted (and they’re gorgeous too!). So if you have a special occasion coming up and need a cake to celebrate, or even if you just want cake for no reason whatsoever (🙋♀️🙋♀️🙋♀️) check them out.
Goods Manufactory and Cafe: Just down the road from the Botanic Gardens, Goods is one of the best cafes in Wellington. If you are over the stodge of the standard muffin and scone offerings at most cafes, and are after a little bit of light, melt-in-your-mouth pastry then Goods has the goods for you.
Bohemian Fresh Chocolates: Located on Featherston Street, this amazing artisan chocolate is so good I will drive into town just for a treat! Top tip – try their hot chocolates, you won’t be disappointed.
Yvette Edwards: After some beautiful blooms or a new house plant (who doesn’t need a new house plant?) then you can’t go wrong with Yvette.
Elite Muscle Therapy: Kaz has been my massage therapist for over 6 years now, and she is one of the best in the business and has helped fix me more times than I can count.
Miss Wong Clothier: Locally owned with a focus on NZ designers, this is my fashion go-to.
Sixes and Sevens Cafe: This was the first place I went after lockdown ended, it’s that good! Their doughnuts are particularly incredible.