Supporting local, independent and small businesses is always important, however there are various reasons as to why now is especially important for this. Apart from the obvious reason of the current world situation, Christmas is one of the most crucial times of year for businesses as it is the time of year when sales sky rocket and so competition is often higher, with big chain shops and businesses often being the winners. Whilst obviously there are still people who are being supported by the work that bigger businesses bring, which is incredibly important, they're also generally the ones who can afford the advertising and the people to work for them, whereas smaller businesses tend to have to do everything for themselves (planning and designing; sourcing materials; making products; photographing them; listing them; social media and general promotion; website building; blog writing; accounting etc), all of which has to be fitted in around general life responsibilities and often other jobs.
The simplest way to support a small business is by liking their posts and social media pages, sharing these, and recommending them to others, all of which take very little time to do and don't cost you anything, thus meaning that if you're unable to financially support them you can still show them your support.
Buying cards (or other similarly priced product) is a simple way to support businesses financially, as they are likely to be some of the most affordable items for sale, and small sales and prices can all add up, therefore even they are incredibly crucial (of course, if you are able to buy something that costs more, or even a couple of smaller things, then they will be very much appreciated too)!
I know that for both economic and environmental reasons people are now either sending less physical cards or none at all compared to a few years ago, and perhaps giving that money to charity instead, which is also needed, but for small businesses, particularly for those whom cards are their main products available for sale, this means that they will make less money, and therefore they personally will struggle more financially. If this is something that you have decided to do, may I suggest giving most of the money that you would have spent to charity and then buying maybe one or two cards from small businesses which you can then give to your spouse, children, parents, best friend etc? That way both the charity and one or two small businesses can benefit from your decision. I understand that there are many reasons why people are deciding to not send physical cards any more but still ask that you consider my request.
The Just a Card campaign  supports small businesses in various ways, one of which is by reminding people that, as the name suggests, buying just a card is an incredibly important way to support small businesses. People will often think that buying something small like a card won't matter much to the business, and therefore they and many other people thinking the same way won't make that sale. If you think about it, that means that the business loses a lot of sales and therefore vital income, whereas if some or all of those people actually bought that card, for instance, imagine how many total sales that would equate to! Please don't think that by buying "just" a card you're not helping small business out, because you definitely are (and we do a happy dance whenever a sale is made)!
As the daughter of an MFPA artist (Mouth and Foot Painting Artists) , I know just how crucial card sales are, as most of their sales are through cards, therefore meaning that if more people stop buying physical cards, they as an association will have less money to pay their artists' wages with, thus negatively affecting their livelihoods and the future of the association (which is a co-operative and not a charity as people sometimes think).
Folksy  is a site which is specifically for British crafters (although you can live outside of Britain and still buy products from there). Unlike places like Etsy, Folksy is comparatively smaller and less well known (although they have recently celebrated 50, 000 followers on their Instagram page), therefore both meaning that they and we who are their shopkeepers have to do a lot of the independent promotion ourselves with less resources (and people do do a brilliant job at this), but also that it may be easier for you to find the product(s) that you wish to buy due to there being a smaller number of sellers on there (which isn't a bad thing)! So if you're looking for an independent British craft business, may I kindly suggest/request that you look on there first (sorry other craft sites)?
Also, more independent bricks and mortar shops are now selling online, sometimes with click and collect or free local delivery options available, so may I suggest seeing whether any of your local shops are now online before you search Amazon or somewhere similar? Two of my local shops are Yellowstone Art Boutique  and The Little Shop of Crafts , both of which are located in the Trentham Gardens Estate Shopping Village in their physical form.
Your local city, county etc may also have a social media page or group where they promote local independent businesses (Made in Staffs is my local one), or there may be a hashtag which you could search to find local businesses providing services that you are looking for.
If you've read part or all of this post, thank you for taking your time to do so. I hope that you will see just how important it is, particularly at this time of year and in the current circumstances, that you support small, local and independent businesses where possible, even if it's just a card or a share, like or recommendation.
If you have your own business or one that you support, then please link them below for other people to find, we all need and appreciate your support.
Hopefully see you again soon.
Many thanks and God Bless,
Hi! I'm Holly. I'm a Christian and a textile crafter, cardmaker and writer based in Stoke-on-Trent (UK). I hope my products and content inspire you to give crafting and homemaking a try, or indeed any new skill or hobby that you're interested in. Thank you for visiting!