This month is Winchester’s Independent Business Month- a celebration of all the wonderful local businesses that we share our beautiful city with. Are you thinking about ways that you can help support your favourite local business? Here are 5 ways (and some of them won’t even cost you a penny!) 
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1. Shop Local! This is a pretty obvious one, but independent businesses need your money to survive! Have you thought about swapping out one of the items that you normally buy online, or from a chain? How about skipping Starbucks and treating yourself to a coffee from a local business? Or how about closing that tab in exchange for a stroll through your local town to pick up your gardening supplies, or a new summer dress? Even a tiny purchase can make a huge difference to a small business.. 
2.Likes, shares and comments Most of your favourite independent businesses are on social media (follow us on Facebook and Insta for crafty fun!) Algorithms can be tricky beasts to master, with businesses doing everything they can to make sure you see their posts, and they don’t get lost in the mess. Every like, share and comment you make on their posts can drive engagement, pushing them to the top of the algorithm! 
Plus, engaging with a business’s socials can benefit you too! It might mean that you can help to shape their business, by letting them know what you love and what you don’t. You might be in for a chance to win a competition or a giveaway, and you might find like-minded people who are into the same things you are. It’s a win-win all around! 
3. Reviews These days we have so many reviews right at our fingertips, and if you’re anything like me, you always have a quick flick through Trustpilot before visiting a new store or spending money online. If you love a local business, let the world know! And if you’re not much for writing reviews, tell your friends and family. There’s nothing quite like good old fashioned word of mouth to get the word out about an amazing product or service.. 
4. Gift Vouchers There’s no better way to share the love and recommend your favourite shop than by giving a gift voucher to someone you love. Think your sister could really use a treat? Why not buy her a voucher for your local ice cream parlour? Dad’s birthday coming up? How about a gift card for a local restaurant or bar? 
5. Be a tourist in your own town! Planning a day-trip to another town or city to explore what they have to offer? Have you ever considered how many amazing attractions there might be in your own city? Save on petrol money and plan a day-trip to your own town. Visit museums, cafes, galleries and shops that you’ve previously just walked right past 
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