Support Your Local Indies this Christmas

As we reach the halfway point of the second national lockdown of the year, and draw ever closer to Christmas, the indies have united to bring the people of Leeds a convenient and easy to use online directory of local businesses.

In conjunction with a social media campaign #Buyleeds, the online directory will signpost people to Leeds’ independent businesses in retail, hospitality and arts across the City.  

The ‘Support Your Local Indie’ directory was developed following the success of the Leeds Indie Food Directory, which launched in March. The new platform comes with an important message – we need to support our local independent businesses, to ensure their survival post pandemic. In the run up to Christmas, the directory will support the City’s independent businesses and the jobs they provide. 

“The new directory is free for indie businesses to sign up to and aims to help get them noticed and, more importantly, people shopping with them. We saw how these businesses adapted to the lockdown restrictions and spotted an opportunity to really showcase them via our newly launched shop.’ Simon Fogal, Chapter 81

The impressive directory was funded in kind by Chapter 81, designed and built by the Hungry Sandwich Club, and was supported by indies across Leeds, including the Brudenell Social Club, Playful Leeds, Hyde Park Book Club and Duke Studios. Currently, the directory includes 700 Leeds independents and is organised by suburb with numerous sub-categories. As a result, it’s now easier than ever for people to find everything they need; from indie cafes through to fresh produce and sustainable homewares. What is even better is that the directory will continue to grow so that people across Leeds can support the key businesses located within a stone’s throw of their front door. 

“When people spend locally, businesses and staff invest locally and your spending goes further, and helps to support the city in which you live. You can help preserve jobs in Leeds.” Jack Simpson, Hyde Park Book Club 

At a time when so many of us are bruised, battered but not yet broken by the impact of COVID-19, we have the capacity at least to consider the local economy and how we can help keep people in jobs and businesses afloat by simply shopping locally. The range of products and services on offer via the directory leaves no doubt as to the rich variety of choice available to every Christmas shopper.

It is hoped that the directory will grow and develop into a City-owned space that can showcase all that Leeds has to offer. Launching alongside the directory, is ‘#BuyLeeds’, an organic campaign which aims to challenge the way people think about their shopping habits, supporting the message that keeping money within the City’s economy is vital to saving jobs and businesses across the independent sector. To support the campaign, utilise the hashtag #BUYLEEDS to flood social media and get people talking. There will also be takeover days so that members of the community can come together with one voice to shout about the incredible independents across Leeds.

It’s so easy to click away and buy via the international giants, but that won’t keep your City or town or village centre stores going. It won’t maintain the life and vibrancy of our streets and it won’t help the hard workers in those businesses to keep their jobs. So – please browse through the directory to see where you can order online, click and collect.  So many of our local favourites are listed, and so thanks to the directory pointing us in the right direction, it is easy to support your community and help our high streets to survive. 

To get you started, Leeds Indie Food has launched a bumper shop of products from local indies, packaged into one of three hampers tailored towards foodies, coffee lovers and those who love local breweries. The hampers, which showcase items from Leeds, are available to pre-order until 4th December and will be delivered by 11th December, courtesy of Awesome Distro, making them the perfect feel-good Christmas gift. Further to this, a brilliant gift card service is also available via the Support Your Local Indie directory website. The gift cards will not only be a brilliant present idea but will also ensure that the cashless culture that we have all become accustomed to will continue. 

Dr Gemma Bridge

Gemma, is a freelance writer and independent researcher. She has been writing for over 10 years and loves to share what's going on in and around Leeds. She is also an international athlete, the Running Mayor of Leeds and the creator of Leeds Food Guide. You can find her on Instagram at @GLB_racewalk or @Leeds_FoodGuide, or on Twitter at @glbridge1 or @RunMayor_Leeds

Do you have a story to tell?
We want to hear your stories and help you share them.