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“Every time we spend money, it’s as if we’re casting a vote”

“Every time we spend money, it’s as if we’re casting a vote”

Thursday 10 September 2020

“Every time we spend money, it’s as if we’re casting a vote”


Which businesses do you want to stick around? The owner of a small local business is urging islanders to think about just that as they set about spending their £100 vouchers.

Harriet Rouse, of Harriet & Rose, shared her thoughts in this column for Express...

“With the £100 cards landing on the doorsteps of all islanders from this week, as a small business owner I’ve been thinking hard about how I am spending mine, and with whom. 

Every time we spend money with a business it’s as if we’re casting a vote for the businesses that we want to stay around.  

If you can, think about where you spend your money. The word ‘mindful’ gets bandied about a bit too much, but this time, it’s utterly appropriate. Let’s be mindful about where we spend our cards. 

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Pictured: The Chief Minister with one of the £100 'Spend Local' cards.

The events industry has been decimated this year - how about spending money with a local photographer for a family shoot? Local hospitality and tourism may have had a season of sorts, but with three months out of the game, with lower numbers permitted (not to mention the added cleaning/staffing and associated covid costs), they need you to spend with them. Eat somewhere you wouldn’t usually. Find a new favourite local restaurant. Why not have a family day on the water with Seafaris? Or book a night away at a local hotel? You could pay for a surfing lesson down at St. Ouen, or take some yoga classes?

If you decide to go down the retail route, look at supporting small and local. Be it florists, clothing, jewellery, online gifts(!), or anything else… just - if you can - think about who you spend it with. By spending with them, you are helping them to survive, and that means you’re voting for the businesses that you want to stay on this brilliant little island.

It’s easy for £100 to be subsumed into our weekly spending – be that food or other essentials – but the message here should be clear: try and spend it on something different, and when you need to spend it on food or essentials, make it Jersey food and essentials! Farm shops, fishmongers, local butchers and small businesses can all take your cards.

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Pictured: Why not spend your card with an industry that has been struggling, such as hospitality?

As a small business owner, I knew that I wanted to be part of the £100 voucher scheme and, importantly, I wanted to do it with other people. I really felt that bringing the small business community together to all benefit was a much bigger picture than just me having a pop-up shop.

I’m a believer in working as part of a big creative team rather than in isolation is – in the long-term – the best way forward. We come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and we all do something different, and we certainly have a bigger voice when we work together as a group. 

By coming together in two pop-up weekends at Liberty Wharf, we’re making a shopping destination and increasing our reach massively by cross-selling it to all (not just our) customers. It’s a great way for people to come and discover new small makers and businesses that they may not have heard of – all the while inside, and with the necessary Covid safety measures. If it goes well, there are plans to roll it out longer term.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Harriet & Rose (@harriet_and_rose) onSep 8, 2020 at 5:21am PDT

Importantly, as small business owners we want our local creative businesses to enhance the town centre – to encourage you back into town to spend your money and whilst you are coming to see what we’re up to, to have a spot of lunch at an independent café or restaurant and to do what the cards are designed to do: give Jersey’s economy a much needed boost. 

Every pound that we spend on the cards is a vote for the businesses that we want to support. So, when it comes to spending the card, let’s all use it to celebrate our island’s businesses - be they big or small - just try and make them local. 

Let’s make our £100 vouchers count.”

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