12 reasons to love local businesses

09 February 2022

There is no better month than February to promote why you should love and support your local businesses in Sunderland.

The personality of cities is a critical factor in their growth, and local independent businesses help to deliver that with their distinctive, one-of-a-kind shops, eateries ad services. We are so lucky in Sunderland to have a diverse mix of local companies offering something a little different. It's impossible to imagine Sunderland without its colourful and exciting independent businesses with all their flair, imagination and innovation.

Here are just 12 good reasons why you should love them! 

1 - They value you as their customer

There is no denying that local independent businesses help to preserve a one-of-a-kind business with a distinctive character that has an economic advantage for the community too. I have been in business for over 20 years in Sunderland, and I want every customer to have a positive experience each time they visit my shop. They benefit from my expertise and knowledge, and every time someone comes through my door, I want to make them feel welcome as I can't emphasise enough how grateful I am to work in a business I love. I reward my customers with helpful advice, a fast turnaround and the very best prices I can! 

Tony Hanratty - New City Cobbler

2 - They are at the heart of our community

Our customers and the surrounding business community are so vital to us. I love supporting local small businesses to help strengthen the community around me. One way we can support each other is to always start small before seeking out products or services elsewhere. I support other small businesses by purchasing their products and showing them off where I can. We may be a 'small' business, but we have deep connections and networks. And it's this connection to our community that makes being an independent business rather special.

Mandy Brown - Harrison & Brown Furniture

3 - You will find many unique businesses

Part of our business' "mission" is to support others. So as well as specialising in 'all things geeky', we wanted to create a space where everyone would feel welcome and accepted, a friendly place to meet, eat, shop, play games and make life-long friendships. And I think we can safely say we have achieved that as some of our customers have expressed that visiting us has changed the quality of their lives too.

Stewart Brass - Geek Retreat Sunderland

4 - It is better for the environment

Buying from local businesses positively affects both the environment and your community. I'm passionate about upcycling and refurbishing an eclectic range of furniture to give them a new lease of life, and I collaborate and use local suppliers where I can. Everything is completely unique and one of a kind with a character that you just can't get from newly made furniture plus it's good for the environment too. So if you are looking for something different, which is also good for the planet, why not visit us in the Market very soon. As a Small business, we can be flexible to want our customer wants, and customise products where we can.

Andy Buddin - Anyman Upcycling  

5 - You get unrivalled customer service 

Local businesses don't only build a stronger economy - they build a stronger community. At Bou-chique our customer's experience stems from simply treating our customers the way we would like to be treated. We are proud of our team approach to this and know that our customers value our friendly, personal, common-sense style! It's great to be part of a diverse range of local businesses at Mackie's Corner. As an independent business run by local people, we care about the community and want to develop and support it.

Donna Arkley - Bou-chique

6 - They create healthy competition

A little healthy competition is a good thing! Competition stimulates growth and generates substantial benefits for the community too! As a business in Sunniside, we find it is really beneficial to collaborate with other local businesses to attract customers to the area. Friendly competition keeps us all on our toes forcing us out of our comfort zone to ensure the customers get the very best from their local businesses and making Sunniside Quarter an attractive place to visit. We make sure we support the other businesses local to our area, such as the bars on West Sunniside which assist us whenever needed - and vice versa!  

Federico Trulli - Angelo's Ristorante Sunderland

7 - They make dreams come true. 

The surest way to make your dreams come true is to live them. One of the things we are doing at Broadside Creatives is regenerating places in the city centre where creative businesses can start with a community of support wrapped around them. We aim to provide a variety of different spaces which will help them to nurture their dream. Taking the step to set up a small business is rewarding and fun, but it is by no means easy, and we are here to provide a helping hand. 

Mark Burns Cassell - Broadside Creatives CIC

8 - They're full of personality

Local businesses are full of personality because they're run by passionate people who love what they do. It is this passion and authenticity that sets independent businesses apart. Customer engagement on a more personable level allows local businesses to better understand customer needs and cater accordingly. Sunderland has a growing mix of interesting and colourful local businesses and this is helping to create a vibrant indie business scene, of which we're proud to be a part!

Michael Curtis - Grinder Coffee Co | Grinder Coffee Central

9 - They're great for the economy

Local businesses are critical to our economy. By buying local, you're helping a local family, you're making our city more vibrant and successful and you're helping our city be more sustainable."

Managing Director - MMC Research & Marketing & Sunderland Area Chair, NE Chamber of Commerce

10 - They give great advice 

We’re very lucky to have so many great businesses in Sunderland. All on hand to provide those in our community with the expert advice they need to be able to achieve their personal or business goals. Whether you are looking for advice on a legal issue, which of course our Solicitors can help with, or if you need help selling or buying a property, protecting your financial future or if you’re simply looking to purchase a fabulous gift or have your hair done - there’s a friendly and approachable business right here in Sunderland ready to welcome both new and old clients and customers. With all that fantastic advice on your doorstep, why would you want to go anywhere else?

Sarah Reid – Richard Reed Solicitors (providing legal solutions in Sunderland since 1948)

11 - They're happier places to work

It's an interesting fact that small businesses often have happier employees. This is because everyone’s contribution makes an immediate and noticeable difference and it's often easier to make a connection to that businesses purpose. At Penshaw View Training we encourage employee development and wellbeing in the workplace, in line with our ethos “Become Your Best You”. In addition, we actively promote and inspire our team to share and express new ideas in an open-minded culture, for the benefit and growth of employees and the Penshaw View brand.

 Karen Brown - Penshaw View Training

12 - They create local jobs

Our vision at Media Savvy's is “a society where each individual feels valued, has access to suitable education and the opportunity to realise their potential and our mission is “to unite and empower our community through creativity, innovation and education.” We are a Sunniside-based social enterprise in our twelfth year of trading, promoting education, employability, creativity and often, recovery and rehabilitation to some of the most marginalised groups and individuals from our local communities. We've continued to grow, evolve and expand our services over the years and 2022 is shaping up to be our most exciting year yet. In the Spring / early Summer we will be launching an ambitious hospitality arm to our business; Diego's Joint. This will allow us to provide even more training and volunteering opportunities for our target beneficiaries as well as a new and diverse range of meaningful paid employment. The team is never more happy than seeing the people we support progress personally and also in their chosen career pathways and so we are delighted that we are moving strategically towards creating even greater and deeper opportunities.

Dan Makaveli - MD Media Savvy CIC

The small-business owners in Sunderland love what they do, and they play an important role in supporting their local communities. So wherever you can show them your support.

And if you are reading this article why not show your support by liking all their Facebook pages which are linked above!