Leeds gift shop owner urges people to shop local this Christmas as she launches 'Just A Card' campaign
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Jo McBeath, who runs Chapel Allerton gift shop Chirpy, said keeping the independent high street alive is more important than ever this festive season as businesses continue to recover from the pandemic.
She is joining independent shops, artists, makers and small businesses across the country in marking Just A Card - Indie Week.
The campaign, which launches today and runs until Friday, encourages people to support, value and buy from independents during the crucial Christmas retail period - even just small purchases.
"Every little purchase means the world," Jo told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
"It keeps the independent high street alive and vibrant, as well as the supply chain of local makers and businesses.
"People really did shop local last year, particularly at Christmas, but now we've back to 'normal' we need people to continue that to keep us going."
Just A Card week, launched in 2015, encourages shoppers and business owners to celebrate the independents they love, telling their stories both online and offline.
Last year, the campaign saw over 55,000 people taking part.in its five-day Instagram challenge and more than 17,000 shops have displayed the campaign's window stickers to date.
Chirpy will mark the campaign with a free shipping offer online, as well as a card bundle offer as part of a competition to win a year’s supply of free cards worth £180.
"We offer a really personalised service," Jo added.
"I get a lot of people who come in to find a present for their wife or husband. Because I know them, and I know the sort of things they've bought before, I can really give that personal service to help them to choose the right gift.
"We can gift wrap anything and send it out on your behalf, you can buy in store or online, so it's a really convenient way of shopping.
"People who shop last-minute know they can come in and they'll find a gift that's perfect at any time."