It’s hard to believe that only months ago, Byron Bay’s streets were desolate. Especially now that the town’s so busy, you can struggle to find a parking space! But just because it looks like it’s business as usual; it’s not. Many independent businesses have had the most challenging year ever, and they’re not out of the woods yet.

We’re a community that places great value in our local independent businesses. From small clothing retailers and independent food stores through to coffee shops and restaurants – I think it’s fair to say that Byron Bay wouldn’t be quite the same without them.

So, let’s do our bit to support the local business community. Here are five good reasons why you should shop small and shop local this festive season.

   1. Give back post lockdown

Our local independents did a great job of adapting their businesses to provide services to us during lockdown. And our local community certainly rallied to support them. So, let’s keep it up. Small businesses helped to make our lives a lot easier when we really needed it – let’s return the favour.

   2. The personal touch

When you shop at our small independent stores, you’ll often get better value, a superior product and a five-star experience. Many of our local store owners offer products sourced from other local businesses, and they love nothing more than sharing the story of a product with you. So, if you want to buy a gift that really means something, have a chat with a local storeowner and find out more about the people behind the product.

   3. Sustainable gifts

One of our shared community values is sustainability. And many of our local independents have made it their mission to source beautiful, sustainable products to fill their stores. Buy from them, and you can give with pride, knowing you’re being kind to the environment.

   4. Support creativity and innovation

People often move to Byron Bay to start afresh. Some give up careers in the city to set-up a business they’re passionate about. Others are inspired to make a living through their creative talents. Either way, when you support a local independent business, you’re making a difference. And you may be helping someone’s dream come true.

   5. Reduce your carbon footprint.

One of the great things about shopping locally is that you’re reducing your environmental impact. Maybe you can even leave the car at home. What’s more, with many local business owners buying from other locals, both delivery miles and food miles are often substantially reduced. 

When you shop locally, you’re directly helping to build our community. And that means the more you support locally owned businesses, the more you’re helping to keep the soul of Byron alive.

Here’s to 2021 being a great year for local businesses!