It has been a difficult few weeks for companies in Manchester, whose Christmas trading has been squeezed by concerns around Omicron.
But there are ways to support your favorite indies, all the while ticking off a few tricky last people on your gift list.
We’ve put together some awesome Christmas gift ideas that are perfect for people who can’t afford to buy, and who are giving Manchester a little something extra at the same time.
Do you know of a great company that we missed? Let us know on our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, loves going out to dinner – but with the surge in Covid cases, many of us are spending a little more time at home as Christmas approaches.
A great way to help your favorite restaurant weather the current storm is to purchase a meal voucher, paying for it by a date when things are a little quieter.
It will also give your friends and family something to look forward to.
Many local indies offer vouchers, but a few to consider are Salvi’s, Elnecot, and Mowgli.
Do you have someone in your life who loves to be pampered?
You can deliver full spa treatments – with professional masseuse / nail tech / spray-tanner – to their doorstep with Secret Spa.
Services include manicures from £ 29, massages from £ 45 and spray tans from £ 36, all done in the comfort of your own home between 6am and 10pm.
There are also gift cards. You can browse the lot at secretspa.co.uk.
Let the festivities begin, right?
Manchester is full of local distilleries, but if you want to have a bit of fun with your booze, it has to be Zymurgorium.
Beer lovers can sip The Cub Gin, made in collaboration with the Congleton Beartown Brewery; Fans of pink drinks can opt for Realm of the Unicorn sparkling gin liqueur; and there’s even something for jam fans in Marmalade Gin, made by the legendary Duerr’s.
You can order a yardstick of gin, a Zym experience pack of five small bottles, or just indulge in one of their many flavors as the perfect Christmas gift.
Browse the range on zymurgorium.com.
Beautiful Bagel Bakery and Manchester Florist Hybrid have come up with the ultimate Christmas basket.
You can win the hearts of your loved ones by swinging and on Christmas Day armed with a selection of bagels, schmears, smoked salmon, sparkling wine, coffee, juice and a floral centerpiece.
The baskets can be picked up in Kampus on Christmas Eve, but if you can’t make it, there are also gift certificates that you can pass on as an IOU.
Relying on online ordering is a bit of a common thread, but if you’re in the city center you can shop for some great gifts at Tipples on Lloyd Street.
This independent bar has a whole library of liquors and spirits for all tastes.
The staff are always happy to make recommendations if you are really struggling too.
To find out more, visit Tipplesmcr.co.uk.
You can tick off your entire Christmas gift list in one go with a trip to Afflecks.
Everything from jewelry to American goodies to artwork is sold here, with the legendary mall filled with independent manufacturers.
You can read our guide to shopping at Afflecks here.