Jan 04, 2016

We’ve all done it. Vowed that we’re going to exclude chocolate oranges from our five a day for a whole year or taken out gym memberships that we’ll still be paying for 11 and ¾ months after we’ve stopped making any pretence to work out.

People have been making New Year’s Resolutions since time immemorial - the Babylonians made promises to their Gods that they would return borrowed objects and pay off any debts; the Romans began each New Year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the first month of the year is named; and in Medieval times Knights would take the Peacock Vow at the end of the Christmas season, reaffirming their commitment to chivalry.

Today a lot of our resolutions revolve around health and personal wellbeing. We declare with absolute conviction that we’re going to lose a stone...quit drinking...stop smoking. We promise our friends and families that we’ll tackle our work/life balance or cut back our use of social media, making time to actually be sociable instead.

It probably won’t happen. As many as nine out of 10 of us will fail to achieve our goals and most of us, according to research by Professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire, will have fallen off whichever wagon we have chosen before 23rd January.

Despite this, we think there’s one excellent New Year’s Resolution that anyone can make and keep really easily – SHOP LOCAL AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN!

There are many, many benefits to shopping locally. These are just a few:

  • It’s brilliant for your community’s economy, for every £10 spent with local independent businesses it is thought that an additional £50 goes back in to the local economy. The retailers you give your money to when you buy from a local business are the same people that go to local pubs and cafes, circulating that money throughout the community and helping it to thrive.
  • It supports British entrepreneurs, giving the next Lord Sugar, James Dyson or Richard Branson a push in the right direction.
  • Local business owners often provide a much better quality of service because they are passionate about what they’re doing and truly care about their customers’ satisfaction. They will go the extra mile.
  • Local businesses are more creative and unique; they stock those individual items that you can’t find anywhere else, finding their own style and identity so that they stand out in the market place.
  • Local businesses are good for the environment. In general they use less packaging than large retailers so there is less waste going to landfill, they have lower transportation costs and produce less air pollution.

The Bristol Shop is a very special local business that allows the creative and business talents of Bristol to trade under one virtual roof. Launched in January 2013, it was the city’s first ecommerce site to act as a retail platform solely for goods and artwork produced in, representative of, or supplied by Bristol Businesses, and also the very first online site to accept the city’s own currency, the Bristol Pound, alongside the usual methods. It began with 100 products; it now has more than 1000 and continues to grow.

Whether you are looking for a digital art print of the Bristol Cranes; a hedgehog brooch; a children's picture book about sunflowers that comes with a packet of seeds; a gert lush mug; or a penguin screen printed chalkboard, you’ll find it in The Bristol Shop, which you can browse from the comfort of your own home. In fact, we think that once you start shopping with The Bristol Shop, you’ll find it’s a resolution that’s very hard to give up!

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