4 Feb 2021
The past year has highlighted the critical role that small and independent businesses play in the British economy and how integral they are to local communities across the country. SMEs are being continually challenged to adapt the way they work, develop new products at speed and demonstrate their entrepreneurial spirit to make their businesses thrive.
The versatility and resilience displayed by small businesses hasn’t gone unnoticed.
More than ever, the British public want to show support for their local business communities and independent high streets stores, whether that’s by ordering online from an Instagram business, getting a takeaway delivered from a local restaurant or championing click and collect to continue getting their favourite products.
It may come as a surprise to some but despite last year’s challenges, the UK saw the number of private sector businesses increase by over 112,700 to almost 6million. Here at Funding Options, it's no secret that we love SMEs and are always finding ways to support business owners so that they can trade, plan and grow.
We know this Valentine’s Day you may not be able to do the things you usually would to celebrate. But in the true spirit of the last year, why not buy someone you love a gift from a small business you love so that SMEs up and down the country can continue to thrive.
Valentine's Day cards from The Foxy Lemon co.
Know what you want to say to the one you love but can’t quite find the right card to say it? These local card and stationery businesses specialise in unique yet sentimental cards that do just the job.
Wolverhampton-based Foxy Lemon Co. has a selection of funny personalised cards and gift wrap which are bound to make the recipient smile.
If you’re looking to send someone some positivity and brighten their day, then Oh Laura’s card collection is exactly what you’re looking for. Her range is positive and colourful and perfect for partners or friends.
Marby and Elm's card designs are all letterpress printed on a vintage hand-fed press. Their designs are bold and witty and can even be framed by the recipient afterwards! Your orders can be placed online or collected from Exmouth Market.
Devonshire based The Dairy Studio, also specialise in creating traditional and contemporary personalised letterpress cards and stationery. Their custom made designs allow you to ensure the personality of your recipient shines through, to make for a thoughtful card.
Plewsy is a Yorkshire-based business that creates eco-friendly illustrative greeting cards and homeware. Their bright and beautiful designs are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Valentine's bouquets from Northern Flower
Sending and receiving bouquets of flowers for Valentine's Day is a much loved tradition. So whether you’re looking for flower subscriptions, dried flowers or seeds to plant your own, we know the businesses for you!
Brighten someone’s home with a delivery of fresh flowers and show that you care whilst you’re unable to be there. If you’re in Liverpool then check out Lula Flowers whose beautiful bouquets are available for collection or delivery.
If you’re in Manchester then pay a virtual visit to Northern Flowers, an independent florist who supplies a wonderfully wild mix of flowers and plants to the people of Manchester.
If you’re after flowers with a twist, then Studio Bloom is an Instagram florist that sells dried and preserved everlasting blooms in neutral tones. Their alternative twist on a much loved tradition is bound to go down a treat with whoever is lucky enough to receive these. Studio Bloom delivers nationwide.
Why not get your loved one a subscription to have weekly boxes bursting with seasonal fresh flowers delivered? Freddie's Flowers deliver UK-wide and believe that their flowers aren’t just flowers – they’re an experience to be enjoyed.
Or if you want to give a more sustainable gift that can be enjoyed over and over again, check out Sarah Raven. You can pick up seeds, plants and bulbs that your loved one can plant and enjoy in their own garden.
Vanilla Black Coffee Shop Kennington
Whether you’re looking for a gift for your partner, a close friend or yourself, the following small UK-based businesses can cater for all tastes.
Our customer, Vanilla Black Coffee & Books in Kennington is a unique destination in London. They sell coffee and cakes that you can purchase to takeaway and a boutique selection of books, gifts and greeting cards that you can pre-order for collection. So, why not treat the book-lover in your life to a Valentine’s Day coffee, cake and new page turner all at the same time?!
Looking for a unique piece or art for the art lover in your life?
Our customer Contemporary Art Trader is on hand to help you find that perfect piece of fine art, street art or a print to let that special someone in your life know you care.
Alternatively, check out Portsmouth-based design and illustrator Sophie Elisabeth who makes bespoke designs – she’ll create something unique and personalised for the person you love.
If you live near Ampthill in Bedfordshire then be sure to check out Sisterhood Store. This craft and homeware shop sells unique Italian ceramics, candles and sustainable homeware. You can shop online and orders are available for collection in-store.
Since 2009, Hayleigh and Michelle from Lollyrocket Candle Co have been hand-making their vegan-friendly soy candles for all occasions. All you need to do is select the scent, add a personalised message to your artisan candle and get it shipped straight to the lucky recipient!
Nothing says ‘I Love You’ quite like a piece of jewellery, and London based Carrie Elizabeth’s ethically sourced jewellery is both stunning and affordable. Her pieces are set with diamonds and semi precious stones to give a beautiful and timeless finish and are available to buy online.
Blondie's Kitchen cookies
Remind the people you love how much they mean to you with a surprise edible (or drinkable) treat. Whether you think they’d appreciate a giant personalised cookie, a pre-mixed cocktail or a decadent baked good, we know the businesses that can help you.
Why send a card when you can send a message on a cookie? Blondie’s Cookies are baked fresh daily and arrive ready to eat. Alternatively, why not order a DIY cookie kit so that you or your loved one can bake the cookies fresh at home?
If you think brownies, biskies or cakes may be more their thing, check out Cutter & Squidge. Their signature product, the biskie, is a sandwiched dessert that is a cross between a cake and a cookie filled with cream and other delights.
Or, why not send a box of personalised gourmet marshmallows from The Marshmallowist. They have all sorts of flavour combos such as raspberry and Champagne and toasted coconut.
If you’re looking for something to toast the day with then Chapel Down’s selection of wine and champagne could be just what you’re after. The Surrey-based vineyard sells wines, spirits, beers and ciders that would make the perfect accompaniment to any home-cooked meal and are delicious enough to be enjoyed on their own.
Savour the taste of an expertly-crafted cocktail from home with none of the effort thanks to Nio Cocktails. Their cocktail subscription makes for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for a loved one or yourself!
The Pig-on-the-Beach Hotel, Dorset
Sadly, not all of our favourite businesses are able to adapt and be enjoyed from home.
So, why not support those local businesses still closed by getting gift vouchers for your loved ones that they can spend when they re-open. That way, you can extend the celebrations too!
Dreaming of a holiday and relaxing in the sunshine abroad? Then visit our customer Travel Day, a travel agent who specialises in holidays to the Caribbean and the USA. They provide hotel-only bookings through to full package holidays and can provide the perfect thing to look forward to this year.
Missing your date nights out?
Then why not buy a cocktail masterclass voucher for our customer The London Cocktail Club. During the masterclass, you’ll learn how to make three different cocktails from a cocktail expert.
Enjoy a night or two away exploring the UK when lockdown is lifted at The Pig Hotel. With locations in Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Kent and Cornwall, the hotel prides itself on its kitchen gardens being at the heart of what they do; picture them as a restaurant with rooms.
Or for a taste of America in the heart of Oxfordshire, why not buy a voucher for Mollies Motel which boasts an American drive thru as well as a motel you can stay at to explore the local area.
With over six million SMEs across the UK, we know there are plenty more small local businesses up and down the country producing great products and services. Discover some more of our customers and find out how we’ve helped them to fulfil their business dreams here.
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