£140 Million. That’s how much Liverpool as a city is estimated to spend over the holiday period on festivities. From food to gifts and of course the office Christmas party, £140 million is undoubtedly a hefty price-tag. To put some perspective on an almost unimaginable figure, Christmas spending in Liverpool equates to the salaries of approximately 6000 nurses or 4500 teachers for one year!

We at Colu are certainly not scrooges and love Christmas. We do however want to ensure that Christmas spirit reaches all the entrepreneurs in our community; to stimulate our cities growth and continued prosperity long after we ring in the New Year.

As a community we can choose where we plant the seeds of prosperity for the following year; another exotic holiday for a corporate executive or choosing to support a local with a dream, helping them to spend Christmas celebrating making it on their own.

According to the statistics, when spending in a locally owned business 48% of money spent recirculates into the community, compared to less than 14% when spending in a chain. We are not just supporting the wider city, but the individuals who make it special too. If we all spent local this Christmas that could be circa £70 million circulating around Liverpool.

We can choose to support Tracy at Florence & Fox, who exclusively works with Liverpool artists and crafty folk to give a unique gift that also makes a local artisan smile. We can rest our weary shopping-bag clad arms in Coffee & Fandisha whilst knowing we are supporting Kim’s daughter learn Capoeira. Every independent business venture has its own story of how they have come to be and how challenging surviving in business is.

So remember, no matter how heartwarming the John Lewis advert may be this year, supporting local really is the key to a Merry Christmas all round.

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Written by Verity Hall, Community Manager at Colu Liverpool.