Local businesses: stepping up to save Christmas

Shopping local could lower the pre-Christmas anxiety caused by the current supply chain issues, says Michael Oszmann, founder of Buy Britain. “It will also support crucial post-COVID economic recovery in the UK,” he adds, “whilst in the light of the COP26 summit, it’s another way in which we can all play our part in reducing the environmental impact of importing gifts.”

Founded in November 2020, Buy Britain is an online shopping portal which to date has signed up over 200 UK businesses and currently offers more than 3000 British-made products.

“It is hard to escape the headlines proclaiming Christmas shortages and panic buying,” says Michael. “Certainly, anxiety is being ramped up by the current supply chain issues. Whether or not the headlines bear out, one thing we are all being encouraged to do this year is to shop local when we can. That’s why we have launched the #BritishMadeChristmas campaign to raise awareness of all the amazing home-grown Christmas gifting options available. Whether it is with us, or in your local shops, I would encourage everyone to take a look at what is made in the UK. We aren’t suggesting to only buy British, but to discover great variety available and support local when you can.”

With a logjam at British ports and a lack of HGV drivers, 2021 is proving to be a very difficult year for importing. Understandably many consumers are worried about whether they will be able to purchase gifts for Christmas. They are also increasingly wary of making purchases which support the Chinese government, as a recent Daily Mail survey has suggested more than 50% of UK consumers wish to shun Chinese goods. Buy Britain aims to provide shoppers with locally-made alternatives. The site contains many gifting favourites such as Christmas hampers (with regional produce), personalised gifts, British wines and spirits, beauty products and more.

“With Boris Johnson pushing hard on his green agenda,” adds Michael, “many consumers might be wondering how they can do their bit for the environment. Unlike replacing a gas boiler, some switches don’t have to cost a fortune. Buying British for some items is a small switch which means lower emissions due to less international shipping. And whilst buying local does often imply higher prices (in return for higher quality and wages), many products are surprisingly affordable. On Buy Britain there is a wide range of quality gifts that come in under the £40 mark including delivery, and often including personalisation options. So, maybe this is the year that we celebrate a merry British-made Christmas.”

Buy British hampers here