Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, an event designed to encourage people all around the country to shop locally.
Here at East Devon Excellence, we pride ourselves on collaborating and supporting communities within East Devon. Our members are largely family-owned, independent businesses who hire local people, sell or use local produce in their companies and volunteer in local groups and organisations. All this helps to maintain thriving communities and neighbourhoods.
Last year a record £1.1 billion was spent with small businesses on Small Business Saturday and 15.4 million people chose to shop small, according to its organisers. Think how that would benefit local communities if that happened every weekend, every week.
Twice the amount of money stays in the community when it is spent in local, independent businesses, according to the New Economics Foundation. Reports show that approximately 63 pence out of every £1 spent stays within the neighbourhood, compared with 40 pence spent with large businesses.
By making purchases with these local firms you are helping to pay for peoples’ wages, who in turn can buy local too. Having a variety of different types of stores brings individuality to our high streets and creates a greater choice for consumers.
And some businesses only sell produce and goods made or grown within a finite geographical radius. This all helps to create a lower carbon footprint, lessen the impact on the environment, and preserve our beautiful landscape. Something everyone needs to be mindful of these days.
Food and drink grown in East Devon
We are fortunate to live in East Devon with the abundance of food, drink, and other items created within the region. Many of our members who run a cafe, restaurant, or hotel use this seasonal produce on their menus throughout the year. This results in a varied dining experience depending on which months you visit them.
I’ve seen some amazing kitchen gardens and orchards over the past few months when I’ve been visiting our members. Many are busy spending the winter months planning and extending these areas in order to provide a wider variety of food and menu options next year.
If you’re looking for places to eat, whether it’s a midday lunch, evening meal or something more special check out the members’ Eat section.
Each of our towns and villages in East Devon offers something different. There are Saturday and mid-week markets in towns that also have a number of independent businesses selling their own unique offerings. In addition, there are a plethora of farm shops scattered around the region.
You can find out more about towns and villages in East Devon via our Places You’ll Love page.
Attractions and accommodation
But it’s not all about buying stuff. More and more people these days prefer a gift of an experience. These could be tickets to visit one of our many attractions next year or a weekend away. East Devon boasts any number of accommodation offerings across the board from camping and caravan sites, B&Bs, and hotels.
If you’re looking for inspiration do explore the East Devon Excellence website further. We have plenty to offer and you’ll be helping to support local businesses this Christmas and beyond.