These strange times are hard on everyone, but one group facing added uncertainly is those running small businesses. Since our worlds have suddenly become much smaller, now is the best time to show support for your favourite local businesses, as they’re likely to be struggling. 

This doesn’t have to be a sacrifice: supporting independent stores can be a really welcome excuse for a little treat (and self-care is extra important during lockdown). Below are just a few simple ways of helping out the independent businesses near you. 

Brighten up the House with Some Flowers 

Whether it’s to brighten up the home or as a present for a loved one, ordering flowers can be a lovely indulgence and a reminder of the outside world. Why not brighten things up with some locally sourced Mancunian flowers? Northern Flower, located in the Northern Quarter, is a florist with a wonderful array of fresh flowers available for collection from their little shop or for online delivery to your door. Bloom HQ is another choice for all things floral. This independent shop prides itself on stocking blooms that are home-grown and locally sourced, which means that it always offers a wide range of unique flowers and foliage. Place an order for delivery on the Bloom HQ website

Update Your Reading Selection 

By this point, the bookshelves at home might be looking a little stale, so isn’t it the perfect time for a few more reading options? Magma is a wonderful independent book shop that stocks an amazing array of reading material, everything from zines to comic books, art catalogues and novels. Just taking a look at their online store offers a level of inspiration that Amazon could never muster. 

Support a Local Artist 

Whether there is a birthday coming up or you simply want to communicate more than electronically, buying a card designed by a local artist can be a really lovely choice. 

Fernandes Makes is the work of an artist based in Manchester; her whimsical cards are always charming, whether they depict a pet, a celebrity or an uplifting slogan. 

Treat the Taste Buds 

Ordering from a local, independent restaurant can be a really great way of showing support while indulging a little at the same time and taking some pressure off yourself. One great way of finding out which local restaurants are continuing to work during this is through apps like Just Eat. If you are looking to cheer up a loved one, why not treat them to dinner? Gifts Vouchers offers Just Eat vouchers, which can be used for any of their restaurants throughout the country. 

Upgrade Down Time 

Booze and Burn is a small local business selling candles that smell amazing and are good for the earth, as they are made from re-purposed alcohol bottles. They also offer the ability to personalise their labels, which makes this eco-candle business another great choice for a lockdown birthday.

Manchester really is spoilt for choice, with such a great variety of small, independent businesses, and supporting your local economy will likely never feel so good. 


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