People are being urged to get behind brilliant small businesses in Babergh and Mid Suffolk this Christmas, with figures showing the huge impact you can have by shopping locally.
Towns and villages across the two districts are preparing for the festive season with family events and great shopping experiences. People can also look for gift ideas and inspiration from 400 local businesses using the Virtual High Streets for Stowmarket, Sudbury, Needham Market, Eye and Hadleigh – all accessible at www.virtualhighstreet.uk
Even a small spend at an independent retailer can have a positive impact, with more of that money – 63% according to some estimates – staying in the local economy.
For example, if every person aged 16 to 64 in the Babergh and Mid Suffolk districts spent the equivalent of £1 with a local firm for each of the 12 days of Christmas, it would amount to £1.3 million.
Harry Richardson, deputy leader and cabinet member for Economic Growth at Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “We know many families will be counting the cost of Christmas this year and we are encouraging people to support their local high street and shop local when possible. Even a small spend to an independent retailer can make a huge difference and in turn benefit the local economy.”
Micro businesses (employing up to nine people) make up approximately 90% of businesses in Babergh and Mid Suffolk. With 52,700 people aged 16 to 64 in Babergh and 61,500 in Mid Suffolk, a spend of just £12 – £1 for the 12 days of Christmas – could equate to £632,400 and £738,000 respectively.
Across the districts there are plenty of opportunities to shop local with Christmas markets including at Long Melford, East Bergholt, Constable Country Park, Baylham, Debenham and Old Newton as well as popular late night shopping events such as at Eye, Needham Market, Lavenham, Hadleigh and Bridge Barn Farms.
There are also unique Christmas experiences to enjoy such as a handmade Christmas, at Kentwell Hall, or a Dickensian guided tour of Sudbury. Families can enjoy a breakfast with Santa, at Hollow Trees Farm, or be inspired by the Illuminations at Helmingham Hall.
John Ward, leader and cabinet member for Economic Growth at Babergh District Council, said: “You don’t have to travel far for a festive experience this year – whether it’s coming together to watch your local light switch on, enjoying the Christmas window displays or booking a Santa’s grotto or wreath making class. So many of our small businesses are offering unique experiences and gifts ideas this Christmas and I would encourage residents to support local where they can.”
Look out for details of Christmas events on the Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council social media channels in the weeks ahead.
Explore the Virtual High Street by visiting: www.virtualhighstreet.uk