New data on the spending habits of people from Yorkshire and The Humber released today shows that majority of the region (75%) have shopped ‘small’ this festive season. So far spending close to a quarter (26%) of their Christmas budget on festive gifts and food from startups and small businesses. In fact, just under one in ten (9%) people say the majority of their Christmas list this year has come from small shops and sellers.
From chocolates to cheese, toys to turkeys, many of our festive favourites will be served up from an independent supplier this season. Nearly half of the people in Yorkshire and The Humber (48%) bought Christmas cards from a small business, just over three in ten wrapping paper (31%) and a similar number, chocolates (30%). One in four of people got their turkeys from a small supplier this year (25%) and close to one in five bought their tree from an independent supplier (17%).
The top reason people in Yorkshire and The Humber have shopped small this year is a desire to give back to the local community (41%). Shoppers also feel small and local businesses offer more originality, choice and variety (30%) and they want to help keep their high streets alive (31%).
Virgin StartUp exists to help founders start and scale early-stage businesses in the UK, by providing business advice, mentorship and access to funding. The not-for-profit is encouraging all shoppers to ‘think small’ this Christmas, by seeking out independent businesses to support and help them grow.
To celebrate the thousands of small business stars shining bright this Christmas, Virgin StartUp, is giving one festive founder a cracker of a makeover, shining a light (literally) on Sipful – a small Yorkshire-based ‘cocktails in a can’ business – by wrapping up the home of founders Darius and Emily Darwell in a very merry and bright Christmas lights extravaganza that would give the major high street retailers a run for their money. The bespoke neon lights will be designed by a fellow Virgin StartUp supported business, Light Up North.
Bringing the Jingleton to Ingleton, the small village where Sipful are based, the spectacular illumination includes 12 thousand twinkling light bulbs, 11 festive baubles, ten dazzling stars, nine icy snowmen, eight candy canes, seven jingle bells, six sparkling snowflakes, five orange slices, four Christmas trees, three cocktail glasses, two disco balls and a giant can of Sipful cocktail. The light display is powered thanks to low impact LED lights and a battery powered generator which is charged using solar power.
“Its great to see that many of us are already choosing to support independent businesses this Christmas, but there’s still time to spread some much-needed festive cheer amongst the start-up community who are working hard to create unique gifts, food and services that make Christmas special for all of us. Their workshops are often hidden away in sheds, kitchens and garages and don’t always get the recognition they deserve. So, we’re shining a light, quite literally, on start-ups like Sipful to say thank you and to encourage would-be founders to make 2022 the year their own startup ambitions come true.” Andy Fishburn, Managing Director, Virgin StartUp.
“We’re overjoyed that Virgin StartUp have chosen us to be the startup business to shine a light on, our little village of Ingleton has become Jingleton overnight. We’ve been supported by Virgin StartUp from the beginning, so seeing our hard work, in getting our unique products out there, celebrated is the best present ever. We’ve always known that good things really do come in small packages, so we hope this display helps even more shoppers see the light and switch to small for the remainder of this season and next.” Darius Darwell, Founder, Sipful.
Anyone with a business dream who would like to know more about how Virgin StartUp can support them should visit the Virgin StartUp site to learn more. Shoppers who need Christmas gift inspiration can access a Christmas gift guide, a comprehensive list of products from Virgin StartUp founders.
To find out more visit virg.in/DeckTheSmalls.