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Boost business and buy British this Christmas

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UK businesses need your support now more than ever. This Christmas let’s give them a huge boost and Buy British. Here is why, and how!

The history of Buy British campaigns is chequered: in the 1960s our politicians simply didn’t believe enough in the message to fully back it with the right national advertising, and since we joined the EU it’s been illegal (France and Ireland were called out on their attempts in the 1980s). So for many years there have been occasional jingoistic mutterings, but no action.

A new campaign seeks to pick up the challenge. After two and a half years of development and research, here is YouK – ‘Your shop window to everything made in the UK’.

A web app that works on all devices, YouK has also just been launched as a Google Play download for Android phones.

YouK is a unique way to shop, with fast access to everything made, produced or designed in the UK, so that you can consider British brands for anything. This is achieved by extensive research into businesses, scoring them with an innovative ‘how British are they?’ algorithm, exploring everything they make, and then putting it all, free, on a sophisticated app.

The objective is simple: support UK jobs, businesses, public services, and our environment. This is all about pure economics and practical environmentalism, two compelling arguments.

First, economics: we pump money out of the country, buying far more from abroad than we export. A little bit of rebalancing won’t go amiss, and the impact on jobs will be massive. The result will be more tax income, so more money for schools and hospitals. Money spend in small businesses in local communities up and down the country has an even greater effect, directly supporting the fabric of the UK.

Second, the environment: buying locally and nationally is a massive environmental benefit. Our planet is groaning under the burden of excessive consumerism, and the reduction in waste and product miles through localisation is the number one green deal we all need to make. For example, we import 50 per cent of our food and drink from all around the world, costing ten times more product miles than the 50 per cent we produce ourselves. And the really crazy thing is that many of the imports can be indigenously produced!

If this makes sense to you, why not shop with UK businesses this Christmas? It’s been a hugely challenging year for them and for everybody, and they need your support now more than ever.

Buying anything whatsoever from the many thousands of UK brands will be a huge boost for UK business. The range of consumer goods made, produced or designed in the UK is simply fantastic: see for yourself our depth of choice, taking gin as just one example.

In these times of restricted mobility there are real attractions to buying local food and drink produce, either locally or online. YouK has 1,150 meat producers and traditional butchers, fabulous cheeses (try Isle of Mull Cheddar!), 750 breweries, 80 chocolate manufacturers – there is an amazing level of activity everywhere in the UK.

If friends or family live elsewhere in the UK, why not see where their local producers are on the YouK map, and surprise them with a treat that’s local to them and easily delivered?

Shop by values – either for yourself or someone in your life, for example, who is vegan or gluten free, or find gift ideas such as natural skincare.

Sparkling wine, hybrid bikes, a new toaster, jewellery, a guitar, bow ties, cricket bats, Bluetooth speakers, spiced rum, cast-iron cookware . . . our local businesses do it all.

Localising your Christmas shopping is your gift to them.

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Derek Poots
Derek Poots is the founder of YouK, a web app that promotes everything made, produced or designed in the UK at youk.coand on Google Play. Join the campaign or find out more here

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