As well as being the birthday of one of my musical heroes, David Bowie, this year 8 January also marked #MicroBizMattersDay. It’s a day where everyone’s encouraged to show appreciation for the small, independent businesses that drive the economy by taking to social media and sharing the love.
Technically a micro business employs 0-9 people. That could be any type of business, but typically they are the kind of local, independent going concerns that provide jobs in a small community and whose owners work long and hard to provide an income for themselves and their families. They could be retail shops or handy services, people who work from home or businesses that get out and about, online or off.
One of the many things I like about where I live is that there are plenty of these independent shops and businesses. Places that offer a more personal experience than the big brands and corporate chains. On #MicroBizMattersDay I took to twitter to show my support for some of them. Here are just three of many I could have chosen:
Tynemouth’s coolest shop for quirky gifts and trendy clobber for kids and teens. This is my first stop when I have to buy a new baby gift, with radical bibs and babygrows that help me maintain my reputation as the cool auntie and fuel the imaginations of niece, nephews and baby brothers to grow up to be superheroes.
Their Christmas shop window is legendary on Front Street as are their displays all year round, and with gifts inside featuring the likes of Doctor Who and Star Wars, there’s plenty for this big kid to enjoy too. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary and with a sense of fun, it’s a great place to visit. And they gift wrap too!
Find Children of the Revolution on facebook
The latest, hippest eaterie on the north east coast brings the freshest local fish and seafood from the North Shields fish quay to the grill in the shack at King Edward’s Bay. Enjoy the catch of the day with fresh salad, fried potatoes and flatbreads accompanied by the sound of the waves as you look out over golden sand.
This crowd-funded business already has a loyal army of fans who can now enjoy a bite to eat, a coffee or excellent ales from Wylam brewery on tap. It’s hard to believe the steam-punk inspired shack began life as a couple of shipping containers. It’s a buzzing and friendly hang-out where you’re sure of a warm welcome even on the chilliest day.
It should be clear by now that I’m a writer who loves my food and these guys have been keeping me supplied with the very best ingredients via their organic box scheme for several years. Meat, fruit and vegetables delivered fresh to my door direct from the producer every week, helps me to eat seasonally, healthily and with minimal impact on food miles too.
With regular newsletters, facebook updates and recipes it’s easy to keep in touch with what’s going on at the farm and make the most of food that’s grown with love and care for the environment. Farm events and wild camping also offer a chance to see where your food comes from and to learn new skills such as butchery or crafts such as flower arranging.
Okay, so they asked me to write their website for them, but I’ve been a customer and a fan for far longer.
P.S. I wrote this on Sunday and set it to post today. In the intervening hours, the world lost an icon and I’ve lost one of my musical heroes. I’m sad today to have lost the genius of David Bowie, but forever grateful that he supplied a soundtrack of significant music for much of my life and influenced my writing in many, many ways.