• Tandem

Supporting Small Business Saturday

Supporting local businesses at Christmas is even more important this year, with the forced closures of so many bricks and mortar shops. Those surviving high street businesses have needed to invest quickly in an online platform and make their stores Covid safe for customers.

Many will have to adapt their original business model and in some locations, like the City of London, it may take a while longer before their regular customers return.

To help to boost trade on the high street, it's important for businesses to show customers the experience they can enjoy going in to a shop. Customers have relied heavily on online shopping and home delivery this year through lockdown for groceries, home essentials and luxury treats! But by shopping locally, they get a personal experience and support independent businesses in and with the local community.

We asked our staff what their favourite local shop is, ahead of Small Business Saturday!

Just downstairs from our Birmingham Finance office at The Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham. Stag Digbeth is a great multi-purpose venue. It’s the UK’s first independent cocktail bar, barbershop and speciality coffee shop. The interior is an traditional barber shop which is very cool, there’s good choice of draft beers, a great cocktail menu and really tasty coffee. They also hold live music events and there’s outdoor benches in the courtyard. All in all, a fantastic venue.


I like to support local businesses where I can as it helps the local community and ensure that local amenities are kept open, which has been particularly important this year of all years. I live in a small village outside Durham and I’m fortunate enough to have a number of high quality local businesses on my doorstep – most revolving around food! Our new favourite shop is a chocolatier, which has only been open for around a month but we’re already loyal customers. We've picked up some great Christmas gifts for the family!


Francesca’s is a family-run Italian restaurant which serves traditional Italian food. It’s cheap and it’s cheerful but that doesn’t mean they compromise on quality or taste. If you’re from Newcastle, it’s highly likely you’ve eaten here and been greeted by a member of their friendly, enthusiastic team, most of whom have worked there for as long as I can remember. You often have to queue, but you can wait in line with a drink and it’s all part of the charm. Francesca’s was the first place I visited when restaurants re-opened following the first lockdown and It will be the first place I visit when they re-open again.


One of my favourite places to go in Croydon is Art and Craft, an independent craft beer bar located on the historic Surrey Street. Not only does it sell great beer from local breweries, but also has a rotating collection of art from emerging local artists and they offer wall space and commission free sales. I can't wait to go back when they re-open this week!


I would strongly recommend PeckhamPlex, an independently run cinema showing old and new films in the centre of Peckham, with an old school vibe which feels like you are going to your local Odeon in the 90’s – and all films are under a fiver every day/evening. Hopefully they can reopen when the film industry picks up again. For tasty theatre snacks, head to Nola, a newly opened independent coffee shop which is a 5 min stroll from Peckham Rye with amazing coffee and sweet treats!