If you are still looking to fill those Christmas stockings and want to make a difference, then please ‘shop local’ this Christmas and support Medway’s businesses.
This Saturday, 2 December, is Small Business Saturday, a national campaign to highlight the importance of the grassroots economy, and the run up to Christmas is the ideal time to help our independent shops, bars, restaurants, and other business ventures.
With Medway home to more 14,000 businesses, there’s enough here to help tick off almost any Christmas shopping list – and as more than 90 per cent are small businesses it means you can give straight back into the Medway economy.
Medway’s town centres are packed with independent, bespoke shops, meaning you will be able to find a wealth of unique gifts for loved ones, from fancy stocking fillers to that extra special, one-off present.
Shopping on your doorstep also means you will be both helping the environment and cutting down on travel costs, and those costs could be even less if you take advantage of free bus travel or parking.
We have secured government funding to provide free bus travel in and around Medway on Saturday, 9 and Sunday, 10 December (up to 8pm), which includes single journeys on any Medway bus operator.
The following weekend we are offering two free days of parking across all council-owned car parks: on Saturday, 16 and Sunday, 17 December – another initiative to support the Medway economy and population.
Please shop local
Cllr Lauren Edwards, Portfolio Holder for Economic and Social Regeneration and Inward Investment at Medway Council, said: “There are fantastic small businesses across Medway and by supporting them you’re helping bring money back into Medway’s economy and ultimately make it a better place for everyone. Please shop local where you can this Christmas and make it an extra special festive season in Medway.
“These are challenging times for everyone, but while the council is facing its own financial challenges we’re still doing all we can to support residents and businesses. I’m pleased we’re waiving parking fees over one weekend in the run-up to Christmas, and hope people will take advantage to head into town, stock up on presents, and enjoy a festive day out.”
Shop and make merry
Simona Marr, Regional Development Manager at Federation of Small Businesses said: “Our high streets from Rochester to Rainham would be much duller places without the sparkle added by local, independent firms. For shoppers looking for great value, personal service, and unique items all year round, independent shops on high streets can offer it all.
“With the festive season very much getting into full swing, make the most of it by heading to your local high street, to shop and make merry – helping local firms in the process.”
Along with the usual independent shops, Rochester is also hosting its biggest ever Christmas market, which launched on Saturday, 25 November in the historic grounds of Rochester Castle, and will run over three weekends.
The grounds are also home to the Children’s Christmas Village, while this weekend will see the high street transformed for the Dickensian Christmas Festival, on Saturday, 2 and Sunday, 3 December, so a shopping trip to Rochester is also a guaranteed fun day out for all the family.