Support local business this festive season

I miss local exhibitions: Hidden gems of festival shopping

Your small purchase will help Get India Ticking

Recently I had my first haircut at a beauty salon since the pandemic. Following a good catch up conversation I realised I was their first customer of the day at 5 pm. With a smile on her face the beautician said, “People are shopping for Diwali. We expect them to take appointments in the coming week.”

In Mumbai a major relief ahead of the festive season is the opening of theatres and gyms. Shopping malls and highstreets can now expect some visitors as people step out for entertainment and shopping.

While gyms and training studios have opened, getting used to outdoor activity will take time. I was the only one at the fitness session last evening. Am I overenthusiastic or taking a risk? I wondered as I observed the shiny lights of my neighbourhood gym and the emptiness they radiated. Personally, it is a good way to get back to the old routine but with safety precautions.

Festival Shopping

Unlike my first visit to the neighbourhood market, I sensed an air of excitement during this weekend stroll. The local shops have put boards for sending Diwali sweets abroad to one’s family and friends. These billboards also reminded me of the second Covid wave that has gripped Europe. How are these sweets going to reach people in-time for Diwali when Europe is again under lockdown? I thought. But then it is the Gift of Hope we all carry in our hearts, which keeps us going.  

Even a small purchase will help a local business or a roadside vendor survive, rise above the gloom and anxiety. Recently watch brand Titan beautifully captured this in their campaign Let’s Get India Ticking.

The ticking sound – usually associated with the clock – is a heart of our nation as businesses restart. From opening of the shop shutter, sound of debit card swipe, online payment, to the clinging of glasses while sharing a cutting chai.

I found CakeSomeNoise - my new favourite bake on Instagram
I discovered CakeSomeNoise – my latest favourite baker during lockdown

On social media some influencers are using their reach to support small businesses – from hotels, bakers, gifting to artists. Helping them spread the word and reach more consumers.

@anaggh – Over 100 people shared Anaggh’s Instagram post about his intention to support small businesses before Diwali. Since last couple of days his timeline is full of creativity – from bakers, home décor options, gift hampers

@thefinelychopped – A food blogger, Kalyan has been supporting home chefs all through the lockdown. He has curated content on Instagram to encourage home chefs, particularly women, thus discovering some fascinating stories.

Visiting local exhibitions

However, what I am definitely missing this Diwali are the local exhibitions and fairs. Festive season is also a peak time for these local fairs. They are my favourite places to find new products, vendors and buy regional food during festival shopping. Since last few years my Diwali Utane, gifts, small accessories and traditional masalas stocked during these visits.  For me, these visits have been a peek into our traditions, learnings in product development, marketing and a salute to these small entrepreneurs for believing in their passion.

Shopping at these exhibitions is the pre-Covid equivalent of #vocalforlocal. Isn’t it? What are your memories of local festival shopping? Which has been your favourite local business discovery during the lockdown?

Nurture Winning Thoughts !

Tejal

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