Keeping your custom closer to home has a wide range of benefits for the economy, the environment and the local community. Small businesses have been growing, with an increase of 1.2 million since 2010, and it's important that we support and encourage creative entrepreneurs in their business ventures.
Invest in our Communities
Local business don’t just provide products, they can also be gathering places for the community. As a base for a cosy or vibrant experience, their inviting atmosphere can draw people in and provide a welcoming environment.
Get to know the locals and discover new places and products by exploring Cambridge’s wide variety of independents, such as delicious cheeses at Cambridge Cheese Company or a tasty meal at Fitzbillies Cafe.
Independents are amazing places to pick up unique and interesting products that you won’t find at the large chains. They’re perfect for gifts, offering a wide range of creative and personal ideas that will impress your friends and family. Support your local entrepreneurs and help nurture the talents of the latest innovators.
Cambridge has numerous artsy and eclectic gift shops to browse. Check out Typically British for a quintessentially Cambridge present, or Lost in Vinyl for music lovers. For a lovingly curated gift guide, check out our Christmas Shopper trail which guides you around a selection of the best stops for treats.
Support the Local Economy
What better way to support the local economy than giving back to your local businesses? Local businesses hire local workers, and create many external jobs including within accountancy, insurance, contractors and agencies.
At the start of 2017 there were a record 5.7 million small businesses in the UK – an increase of more than 1.2 million since the start of 2010. The latest business population estimates show that these businesses are responsible for 48% of private sector employment and contribute £1.4 trillion in turnover.
Get a More Personal Experience
You can get a much more personal experience from a local shopkeeper than your computer screen. The great thing about shopping independent is the ability to ask questions, communicate and develop a sense of the motivations and passions behind that small company.
Experience a much more intimate experience and better customer care when you support your local businesses.
Shopping local is the definitely the ethical choice, with less deliveries meaning less trucks on the road, and fewer emissions. When it comes to produce, you’d often be supporting your local farmers whilst being safe in the knowledge that your food has had a short field-to-plate journey.
The European Shopper Insights Survey found that more than half of UK consumers (55%) prefer to buy local, with 46% saying their reasons are due to higher quality, and 33% citing the ever-important environmental impacts.
For some amazing local meals in Cambridge, we recommend visiting DoppleGanger Burger for delicious vegan burgers, or have a beautiful Sunday Roast or steak from the Cambridge Chop House.
Cambridge is fortunate to include over 250 independent businesses, ranging from food and drink, bike shops, gifts, clothing and much more. Take a look at our helpful map showcasing a variety of great businesses – and explore, shop and eat local.
Latest Newsview all
Cambridge – Flying the Purple Flag
The Purple Flag working group work on a number of initiatives across the nighttime economy, including the following which are designed to keep us all safe on a night out: Taxi Marshals – Providing professionally trained licensed Taxi Marshals on key dates throughout the year helps to ensure people get home swiftly and safely after… View Article
Be Our Guest
University Arms University Arms is a landmark hotel located in the historic heart of Cambridge, overlooking Parker’s Piece. Since opening in 1834, the University Arms hotel has played an important role in the history of the city. In 1848, in the shadows of the hotel the defining rules of football were invented by locals playing… View Article
Street Vendors Whether you arrive by bus, train, car, or bicycle there’s a strong chance you will see a street food vendor within the first few minutes of your arrival. There is so much choice from this fun, affordable food option. There are Tacos, falafel, burgers, hotdogs, crepes, ice cream, traditional Indian food and much… View Article
Bags of Style…
Cambridge is spoilt for choice when it comes to unique gifts which can be found in one of the many independent boutiques that you will find spread throughout the city. Head to the historic centre to find those special gifts for your loved ones. Stroll down Rose Crescent and Trinity Street, Magdalene Street, Bridge Street… View Article
48 Hours in Cambridge
Friday Afternoon Upon arrival, why not stop at one of the local cafes and treat yourself to a cuppa (or something stronger!) while you wait for your hotel to be ready. If you arrive by train, you can jump in a cab or hop on a bus if you don’t fancy the 10-minute stroll into… View Article
FIRST STOP, SHOPPING! From independent boutiques to big-name brands, you’ll find something for everyone here in Cambridge. Not only are you spoilt for choice with the Grafton, Lion Yard and Grand Arcade, but this city is also home to hundreds of high street stores. And for those with temporary or permanent mobility issues, Shop Mobility is a free-of-charge service that… View Article
Family friendly activities for £10 or less in Cambridge this summer
The Cambridge Book Bench Trail Explore every nook and cranny of our wonderful city as you follow the trail to discover 12 completely unique book benches across Cambridge from the historic core to shopping centres and parks. This summer Cambridge BID in partnership with Wild in Art has installed 12 individually designed Book Benches across… View Article
Dog Friendly Cambridge
Park and Ride Accessing the city with your pooch has never been easier with the network of Park & Ride buses allowing you to travel with your dog for free (however, they will need to sit on the floor). Buses run from five sites across the city, and tickets cost as little as £3 return… View Article
Top five things to see and do in Cambridge this summer
This summer, the historic city of Cambridge invites holidaymakers to venture along its quaint streets to discover brand new boutique accommodations, exciting attractions and unrivalled al fresco dining throughout the charming city centreand its lush green spaces beyond.
Meet the Owners
We think it’s incredibly important to get to know the experts behind our local businesses, to understand their inspirations and motivations, get to know where the money is going, and see the friendly faces behind independent operations.Say hello