The benefits of shopping local | Christmas 2020
The COVID pandemic really highlighted to us the importance of spending our pound locally, and what we mean when we say community. Many small, local businesses kicked into action in March this year, providing services way beyond their usual mode of operating, and quickly too. Liverpool Independents Delivery Service was born, Aintree Gin began making hand sanitiser, and the Festive Group, usually responsible for Christmas lighting around the city, began supplying shielding screens to local businesses to keep staff and customers safe.
We already knew in Liverpool that supporting local is a good thing, but did you know the reasons why?
Here’s what happens when you give back to the businesses that knocked it out of the park for us during the pandemic:
1. Buying from local businesses keeps the pound in the city.
The economy prospers, more jobs are created, and people become more connected to their community and the city itself. Your money goes straight back into a thriving Liverpool community.
2.Food is fresher.
If it's food you're buying, products haven’t had to move very far, and so you can guarantee the freshness. Whereas when buying your produce at a supermarket, you don’t know how far and how long the food has travelled until it reached those shelves…
And to ensure it’s quality, supermarkets cover their produce in plastic, which brings us to our next point.
3.Less plastic, and fuel. With most things you buy locally, it’s not long 'til you’re home. You don’t need plastic to keep your new things fresh, and businesses can save on shipping, and packaging too.
4.You are supporting the very people you pass in the street every day.
Two doors down, there’s a sculptor, and you have her vase sitting proudly on the kitchen table. You buy your fish from the fishmonger who lives beside the park. You notice some art in your local gallery that seems very familiar, maybe you have a similar print on your wall… Shopping local supports your neighbours and friends.
5. You increase your knowledge of the local area, the products and services available, and make contacts that could help you down the line.
Local community businesses are made up of proud, helpful, friendly people, and in Liverpool, people go out of their way for one another. You might happen upon a small coffee shop that you never knew way round the corner from you. And the owner knows someone who could help you later down the line? Networks!
6. Shopping local strengthens communities.
And what is better than a strong community? People look out for each other, support each other and help each other out. Local businesses give back by providing jobs, strengthening the local economy, and providing important goods and services with specific communities in mind. A unique identity forms around the community, and the area is spoken of with pride. L8 is a great example of this happening in Liverpool.
Here's how you can help develop and strengthen Liverpool’s creative communities by shopping with local artists this Christmas.
Buy tickets to or attend gigs , concerts and shows (be they online or off).
LIMF has just hosted On Record, a showcase of local artists throughout their festival. Visit their website to watch.
Liverpool Philharmonic is hosting livestream concerts and archives of past concerts too.
Local theatres have complete online programmes available, and many venues will thankfully be able to host a full Christmas month of events this year, after a dark year.
Join livestreams on Instagram and Facebook and watch your favourites in their natural environment.
Buy music, or merch.
Instead of streaming, buy cds, cassettes, vinyl, digital or however you consume. Streaming services typically pay artists a TINY fraction of what they should be paid for each stream. Buy bands t-shirts, hats, trinkets and mugs. Fill your home with tributes!
Buy products direct from local artists.
Liverpool’s creative community are online, and many have web shops where you can order prints, and other pieces of art. Google names and you will have their websites in no time.
Buy classes or workshops from your favourite artists. Some incredible workshops in the city include Cut out Collage, Little Vintage Photography, and dot-art run a host of classes in watercolour, caricature, pet portraiture and more, both online and offline.
Visit arts fairs and markets, and spend!
Shout-out to Open Culture, hosts of the Winter and Summer Arts Markets, who will be hosting the Winter edition at the Cathedral this year, in person! You can catch makers fairs around the city too, at Blackburne House, the Bombed Out Church, and recently online, on Instagram and Facebook too.
Buy books by local writers, and buy them in local bookshops.
Like Ashleigh Nugent's recent book LOCKS, a book about spending his 17th birthday in a Jamaican prison. Sold out at local bookshop News from Nowhere, even in a second lockdown- he’s made sure there's more copies in there now! Who better than local bookshops to recommend you local writers you will enjoy.
Fund some creation by giving to artists that are crowdfunding creative new ideas.
Local radio station Melodic Distraction are raising funds for a new home, Skywriters for a full creative writing course for Liverpool residents, and Transition Liverpool for pop up installations in car parking spaces around the city. Great ideas, that could all do with a pound or two this December!
Join Art Collection Liverpool
We are a new community fund, made of weekly £1 donations from the people who love the creativity of this city. We aim to gather 500 members, so that we can make grants of £500 weekly to local artists and creatives. By joining this December, you push up closer to being able to make our first grant, and you can nominate your favourite local artist to receive the money.
Find out more by visiting the About page up top.