Small businesses, boutiques and independent labels are the bread and butter of Manchester, they’re our beating heart.
However, after a difficult year of store closures and mapping a pandemic, our local businesses may not be as safe as we once presumed.
If we want these boutiques to always be around the corner, it’s crucial we keep supporting them.
If times are tight and you can’t shell out loads of cash doing so, not to worry! Here are some of the best alternative ways to support your local creatives.
Leave a review
We’ve all been there before – about to book a table at a restaurant or visit a new coffee shop, but we can’t help but check the reviews beforehand just in case.
Too often, we will leave a negative review if we’re dissatisfied with the service, but people rarely think to leave some positive words when they have enjoyed something.
Not only will your praise mean the world to a small business owner, it will also help potential customers make an informed decision when visiting.
Due to the pandemic, a lot of local businesses have shifted their efforts online, either fully abandoning their brick-and-mortar stores or putting more focus on a website.
Therefore, social media is an invaluable tool for many independents trying to reach new audiences and attract customers.
A little really goes a long way – sharing Facebook posts, mentioning them in an Instagram story or liking their TikToks take two seconds, yet could make a massive difference.
Recommend them to friends
If you love a certain small business, chances are your friends and family will too.
Why not introduce them to your latest discovery in Manchester’s independent scene? You never know, they might just fall in love with it.
Plus, it feels great as a small business owner to know that people are talking about your work and loving it.
Shop with them for presents
From Mother’s Day to graduation and everything in between, there’s always another occasion or event to buy gifts for.
Instead of doing a quick Amazon order or shopping from a global chain, why not support a local creative and shop from their store to find the perfect piece?
Chances are you’ll find something unique that can’t be found anywhere else, plus the dedication and effort to find the perfect piece will definitely gain you some bonus friendship points.
Purchase a gift card
Gift cards don’t have to be a present, you can even use them yourself when making purchases.
This is a great way to show your loyalty and return to the store numerous times to try something new.
If you can’t physically get into their store (or, worst-case scenario, we enter more restrictions), this is a great way to still demonstrate your support.
Neglect the chain when treating yourself
Whether it’s an iced coffee and cake on a summer’s day, or splurging on a fancy dress, why not turn towards a small business when treating yourself?
It’s easy to visit your local chain and buy something, but chances are you’ll pay a similar price for a much nicer product (plus an incredible evening) by staying local.
Even if it’s only something small, these swaps will make a massive difference in the long run.
Show your appreciation
Above all, remember to be a nice customer! Don’t hide it if you like something – you can guarantee the owners will love to hear about it!
Visiting a local small business with a smile on your face and telling the staff how much you love their work may seem like a small act, but in reality it’ll make their day.
While this doesn’t help in terms of money, that positive experience may just be the motivation they need to continue with their craft.
Featured Image – Manchester Northern Quarter