Why Shop Locally and Support Local Businesses

It’s been a hard few years for businesses around the globe. Small businesses, in particular, have had it tough. Lockdowns halted in-store patronage and tested the longevity of longstanding businesses. Now we’ve passed those challenges, we have a new set of economic issues, and businesses once again are navigating new waters.

At the end of this post, we list some of our favourite retail shops and hospitality businesses.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that UK businesses are resilient. In the face of adversity, structures have changed, innovation has blossomed, and our communities have come out like never before to support each other and local businesses.

These challenges have highlighted the importance of shopping locally and supporting local businesses.

How shopping locally impacts the local community

When living in a community, it’s important to take care of one another. It can be easy to shop for convenience, not thinking too much about who benefits from those buys, however, our money has an impact. If you shop locally, you contribute to:

  • Helping local businesses keep their doors open
  • Creating a multiplier effect as businesses buy from each other and circulate money through a city
  • Job security and new job creation
  • Stimulating local economic growth
  • Connecting with your community and feeling good about supporting people who live in your area
  • A sense of pride in the products created by passionate entrepreneurs.

Shopping locally is better for the environment

Reducing our carbon footprint is more important than ever. Shopping locally helps:

  • Decrease transport emissions
  • Reduce packaging waste
  • Support sustainable sourcing
  • Help local farmers and producers.

Shopping locally supports our unique culture

The way we shop reflects the kind of people we are. When you shop with independent businesses, you’re supporting the unique contribution they bring to our area. Local businesses bring their own individuality to our streets. Whether they’re in a competitive market or stand alone in their offering, you won’t find them anywhere else.

Spending with chains or large businesses with head offices in other cities or countries takes from our local icons. It risks their livelihood and opens the door for big businesses to take their place.

When we support local businesses, the money stays within our community. It keeps the characters we love and helps the city continue to develop.

How to support local businesses

There are many ways to support local businesses, either directly or indirectly.


  • Shop in stores and on websites run by locals
  • Attend events hosted by local organisations
  • Have your morning coffee at a cafe owned by someone in your area.


  • Share news of local activities or initiatives on your social media
  • Like and comment on posts by local businesses
  • Leave reviews for any services you’ve used
  • Vote with your wallet whenever possible and think twice before buying from big corporate chains.

When we shop locally, we help our communities thrive. We contribute to a future of economic growth, sustainability, and culture that’s unique to us. You also get better customer service and products.

The Varsity Shop Oxford is one of the oldest businesses in Oxford. We’ve been here since 1846, contributing to the college’s prestigious clothing. In 1870 we introduced the first modern style necktie, and we are the proud creators of the now famous Oxford University crested tie. 

Today, we offer a range of college clothing and accessories for students, graduates, and visitors to our great city. When you shop from The Varsity Shop Oxford, you’re not just buying from a local business, you’re buying a piece of Oxford history.

If you’re a visitor to Oxford or a local wanting to support your community, shop at our city’s wide range of fantastic local businesses and buy your college goods from The Varsity Shop Oxford.

The Varsity Shop loves and recommends the following to tourists and shoppers:


Serving Oxford since 1242, we at The Bear Inn know what’s important… delicious food, a fantastic selection of real ales, and a warm welcome to locals and tourists alike.

On Oxford’s bustling High Street, peering out onto St Mary’s Church and the iconic Radcliffe Camera, Quod Restaurant with its unrivaled location forms the lively hub of the Old Bank Hotel.

Fine Food, Local Suppliers, and Rich in History: The Plough at 38 Oxford Restaurant & City Centre Pub.

  • Lenardo’s Pizza 

This is a very new independent pizza restaurant with no current website or social media but very popular with our staff. The address is  2 King Edward St, Oxford OX1 4HS

At Sandy’s Piano & Wine Bar, We will be focusing on quality wines and cocktails along with live music every night. With a late licence into the night, Sandy’s accommodates drinkers and partygoers who don’t want to go to a student bar or nightclub.

As we are a small business ourselves, we also want to support other local independent retailers which are just a stone’s throw away from us:

John Gowing is a family run, independent jewellers and watch specialist located in the heart of central Oxford. Our reputation is based on an eye for exquisite detail, elegance, and innovation.

John Payne opened a silversmiths and jewellers in Wallingford in 1790, with other shops opening in Abingdon 1825, Banbury 1842 and Tunbridge Wells 1870, all run by various members of the Payne family. George Septimus Payne inherited the Abingdon shop in 1874, but 14 years later, he decided to move to Oxford.

A very warm welcome to Walters of Oxford, the hidden jewel in Oxford’s Crown. Because we firmly believe that the customer really matters you will always be certain of the red carpet treatment here at Walters.

Walters of Oxford has been established for over 150 years here in Oxford the city of Dreaming Spires and are well known amongst Town, Gown, and Country alike in the supply of quality menswear and Academic/Ceremonial clothing to the world over.

The first bookshop opened by a member of the Blackwell family was in Oxford but was actually in 1846.

We take the year of 1879 as our founding since it was on January 1st of that year that our bookshop on Broad Street, Oxford first opened its doors and we have been trading continuously from there ever since. 1879 was the year that Thomas Edison created the first lightbulb, Broad Street was cobbled and, no doubt, filled with the sound of hooves clipping along it.

Over the last 30 years the staff at Blue Blood Sports have been dedicated to ensuring the local people of Oxford have a specialised sports presence. Our retail shop has a fantastic range of equipment, if you have any questions please get in touch.

Pens Plus Oxford is an independent pen shop located on Oxford’s iconic High Street. The shop has been in existence since the late 1960s

They offer a personal service with expert knowledge on all of their products. From your first fountain pen to the pen to see you through your student days to the quality pen to sign that all important business contract. They can find the right pen to suit you.


A walk down 600-year-old Turl Street will take you past three Oxford colleges and a row of some of the oldest and best-respected shops in town. Nestled among them is Scriptum Fine Stationary. Azeem Zakria, Scriptum’s director and creative head, founded the business after being inspired by a stationary emporium in Florence. Scriptum opened in Oxford’s Golden Cross in May 2003 and moved to its larger Turl Street Premises in 2006. Scriptum prides itself on providing efficient and personal service and hopes the unique atmosphere of their shop translates into an enjoyable experience for you.


Jigsaw was founded by John Robinson in 1970 on the principal of bringing elevated design to the British High Street. inspired by trips to Japan and designers, John brought the concept of Japanese design to London adding a unique British eccentric twist. 50 years on Jigsaw is still known for collaborating with renowned architects, upcoming photographers and artisan mills, makers, and creators to create the finest quality collections.

Visit us in-store or take a look at our website to learn more about us and our range.