All of a sudden, many of us have found ourselves with a lot more spare time around the house. For some, it’ll be the perfect opportunity to catch up on some spring cleaning. For others it’ll provide a much-needed binge-watch window. However for Manchester’s many small and independent businesses, the next few weeks will be a difficult and crucial time. As a city that prides itself on originality and independence, it’s these colourful, entrepreneurial traders that form the backbone of Manchester’s thriving creative spirit. With that in mind, here’s how we can all do our bit to help keep them afloat during this tricky period…

Buy A Gift Voucher

Can’t visit your favourite city centre spot right now? Buy a gift voucher instead. Many of Manchester’s most beloved coffee spots, eateries, food chains and stores offer gift cards that can be used at any time of the year, making them the perfect present for a friend, loved one or even yourself. From vouchers for Manchester Craft and Design Centre’s many local makers and Northern Quarter arts store Fred Aldous, gift cards and subscriptions at pep and pie store Idle Hands and Ancoats Coffee Co – and literal beer tokens over at BeerMoth – gifting a store’s produce for pick up at a later date is a great way of showing your support without leaving the sofa.

Various Venues
Visit at Off Peak Times

While gift cards are great, not every independent store in town offers them – but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid them completely. Instead, just be a little smarter about when you decide to drop by. Most independent businesses have relatively small venues, which means it only takes a few people to make their premises look jam-packed. Thinking of visiting the cosy confines of coffee experts Just Between Friends, donut royalty Siop Shop or can’t-beat-it bakery Pollen? Avoid rush hours and swing by at off-peak times. Staff will appreciate the business and you’ll miss out on a queue – it’s a win-win!

Various Venues
Pick Up Some Merch

One of the many benefits of being surrounded by so many marketing savvy small businesses is their abundance of nifty merch options. Whether you’re buying a beer glass or tote bag from Cloudwater Brewery, some cans to drink at home from Port Street Beer House, a bag of ManCoCo coffee or something for the home from caffeine and lifestyle store Porter and Cole – you don’t always have to visit stores in-person to help support the businesses on your doorstep.

Various Venues
Show Your Support Online

Strapped for cash? It may seem like a small gesture but following your favourite businesses on social media, alongside liking and sharing their posts, can do wonders for keeping them in the social conversation and promoting their wares to new audiences while their physical store endures the difficulties of the coming weeks. It’s quick, simple, absolutely free and will no doubt be much appreciated by your favourite independent retailers.

Various Venues
Simon Bland
Published on:
Mon 16 Mar 2020