Salford’s creative small businesses say they are relying on Christmas shoppers to buy presents from them instead of online this year – to keep their businesses afloat.
The seasonal stallholders are appealing to Salford gift buyers to shop local to do their bit for the community.
The average Brit will spend £548 on Christmas gifts in 2021, but how much of this will go to independent businesses?
Studies suggest that spending this year is set to increase by £72 and local craft businesses are hoping the extra cash will be invested in their products, as opposed to online this December.
Since last year’s Christmas Markets were cancelled, this December, the festive stalls have been more popular than ever, shopping locally has never been more important.
The Makers Market, which visits different locations around Salford and Greater Manchester, was up last weekend outside the Lowry.
Zaiton Lamat, who works for the Witch Kings Rum, said: “It is so much better now we are allowed to be outside, selling this year. For us , we aren’t only a rum business, we do cooperate events and stuff, we need the social aspect and interaction with customers to survive and when restrictions were lifted that was the most beneficial time for us.
“It’s important for people to shop locally, obviously to support small businesses, but also for the value of rarity.
“It is a personal perspective whether you want to buy something unique or mainstream. At the end of the day there is nothing wrong with either, but for me I always seek new hidden gems, which you can find at markets like these.”
Owner of Powerplant, Victoria Harris, said: “Last year people were spending their money on big online orders. This year the businesses that have stayed alive rely on around 80% of their profit, through the Christmas period, so it’s very important to shop locally so they can get sales, to support their families.”
“They aren’t getting money elsewhere, so by getting their products you’re putting money back into the community.”
However, there is also a selection of non-festive items to be purchased too.
Unique artworks, posters and decorative pieces were also being sold- which looked like good presents ideas for this year.
The owner of Studio Sollis, Emily Sollis said: “I sell hand drawn items… and I only started this business this year, during the pandemic, as it kept me focused and sane through lockdown.
“There’s a lot of effort and hard work that goes behind the scenes in markets like these. It means so much when people buy something, you are making someone’s day.”
The surge in online shopping has hurt local businesses around the UK, however this Christmas is an opportunity to give back to the community.
The next Makers Market at Media city UK is on December 8-19 from 10am.
Location of the Makers Market, The Lowry, Media City UK.