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During this tough period, we have been inspired to see communities join in support of one another. Now more than ever – we’ve all come to appreciate our local community in whatever way we can. These tips are incredibly important during this pandemic, but we also hope that you continue to shop again and again locally once we come out the other side of this pandemic.  

In this guide, Love Home Swap team member Ellena shares her tips to support local businesses during this time, in her neighborhood of Brixton, South West London.

Get your morning coffee delivered

I'm really missing my takeaway coffees and the swanky coffee machine in the Love Home Swap head office. 

You can order freshly made takeaway coffee now from several cafes (in Brixton Stir Coffee is now taking orders) but a great way of enjoying good coffee whilst saving money is to get independent coffee shops to deliver coffee straight to your door.

There are many online coffee subscription services available in various regions. If you’re in the UK, I love Extract Coffee Roasters in London / Bristol and Coaltown Coffee in Ammanford, Wales who both offer subscriptions to deliver freshly ground coffee through your post-box every month. They're not local to me in Brixton, but I love visiting their cafes when I am in Bristol and Wales

 

Order from local restaurants online

Ordering from local businesses or cafes online is one of the easiest ways to support local businesses and keep yourself safe. Many local restaurants have now set up their own online delivery service, or available through apps like Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats, for example. This way, you can enjoy your firm favourites from the comfort of home and support your independent cafes and restaurants.

 

Order from local shops online

Whether it’s your local clothes shop, bookshop, or other boutiques, you can now often support them by ordering online. If you are unfamiliar with local retailers in your area to support, there are some great websites that help find independent sellers near you. For books, I recommend Hive that allows you to look up stores in your area to order from.

A firm favourite in Brixton Village is Cornercopia, a plant shop and homeware store. Like many in Brixton Village, their store has moved online here.  You can also keep up to date with the store's beloved cat Ginger on Instagram

 

Buy gift cards or vouchers

To help small businesses get cash now in the months where they can’t trade, buying gift cards or vouchers is a good way to support in these months you are not able to visit their establishments. This is also a great birthday idea for loved-ones that you are unable to see now but can enjoy a meal together, a spa day, or a cinema date once together again.

 

Stop bulk buying in supermarkets

As we try to limit our time spent outside, many of us are doing larger food shops in large supermarkets. If you live in a city or other urban areas, many of your local greengrocers, butchers and fishmongers remain open. Not only will you be supporting these businesses during this time, but they also are often far better stocked than the larger retailers.  

One of the many independent fruit and vegtable stalls in Brixton. 

 

Support them on social media

Even if your favourites are not open for business during this time, you can still support local businesses by following them on social media, liking and commenting on their posts, sharing announcements and giving them reviews for when you have bought from them in the past. This helps with their exposure during this period and help them find new customers they would not have had previously.

 

Include your favourite places in your Love Home Swap profile

Part of the excitement about choosing a home swap over a hotel or holiday rental is the amazing neighbourhoods you get to explore like a local. By home swapping, you are choosing to stay in areas of cities or other destinations often less discovered by tourists. One way you can add to that excitement is by letting other home swappers know about all the great things to do and places to visit in your local area. You can include a summary in your property description, but we also have a dedicated neighbourhood section on your profile. Find out how to edit to your neighbourhood section and what to include.

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