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Bucks residents encouraged to Shop Local this Christmas

Buckinghamshire Council is encouraging residents to Shop Local this Christmas to help support local businesses across the county. Ranging from independent businesses to much-loved brands and stylish bars and restaurants, Buckinghamshire’s high streets have something for every shopper. Our high streets and town centres are designed to provide shoppers with all the things they need in one convenient place – which also means they’re a sustainable option and a great way to be mindful of the environmental impact Christmas shopping can cause.

Moreover, shopping locally doesn’t just help the environment; it also saves and creates jobs and helps to support Buckinghamshire’s economy. Buying from a small business or dining in a local restaurant are excellent ways to show your support and enables local retailers to continue using nearby or smaller suppliers. Research by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p stays within the local economy, compared to 40p for a larger business. Adding to this, a healthier, booming high street increases the value of local properties in the long run – benefitting residents and shoppers alike.

Peter Strachan, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, said: “Where you shop matters, and choosing local doesn’t only mean more unique options for gifting and celebrating, but also helps to support the amazing work the owners of Buckinghamshire’s businesses are doing. Plus, taking your holiday shopping ‘offline’ can have positive benefits – from lowering your carbon footprint to saving you money.”

Rachael Matthews, Deputy Cabinet Member for Town Centre Regeneration, commented: “I’d encourage residents to Shop Local this Christmas as Buckinghamshire has a fantastic range of small independent businesses across the county. By shopping local, you’ll not only support local traders, but you may also discover some unusual and distinctive gifts.” If you are able to do so, hopping on a bus, cycling or e-scooting to the shops or walking to town can help to reduce congestion during peak Christmas shopping times, and helps to lower your carbon footprint.

Taking your shopping offline and shopping in person can also help you avoid the additional packaging and pollution caused by delivery companies, making your Christmas slightly greener. Small businesses can provide a shopping experience that is more convenient and personal. To encourage local Christmas shopping, Buckinghamshire Council is offering FREE car parking on selected dates and times in council-owned car parks. Check the council’s website to see when and where this offer is available.

In addition to the above, on 3 December, Small Business Saturday takes place – with lots of local businesses featured in this year’s event. Small Business Saturday is a national campaign aimed at showcasing businesses from around the country. And on Sunday 4 December, the Aylesbury Christmas Craft & Gift Fair will take place in the town’s historic Market Square between 10:30am and 3pm. The fair will feature several local stallholders offering a variety of unique and handmade gifts, from jewellery to homeware, food and drink to clothing and a range of festive products. They’ll also be live entertainment and children’s activities to keep visitors entertained and in a festive spirit. Details of other Christmas events in the county can be found on the council’s Things to do this Christmas 2022 webpage.