This has been an unprecedented year, and the effects of the pandemic have undoubtedly hit small businesses hard. That’s why I’m pledging to buy over 50% of my Christmas shopping from local businesses this year, and I want to encourage you to do the same.

Across the Highlands, over 90 per cent of registered businesses are small businesses, and whilst online purchases from large retailers have now become a way of life, I am asking people to consider a couple of simple strategies to help out locally. Could you find a Highland supplier to deliver to you, could you support a local venue, hotel or restaurant and buy a voucher, or could you give the gift of giving by donating to a local charity or group, in their name.

My team and I have pulled together a list of our favourite small businesses from across the constituency, and would like to encourage you to shop with them, and the many other small businesses this festive season:

The Drawing Room is a small business in the Crown area of Inverness, offering a variety of gifts, jewellery and home furnishings.

The Rothiemurchus Farm Shop offers pre-packed meal kits, hampers and food boxes with an online ordering service.

The Snug in Aviemore offers a visitors experience with their award-winning single malt whisky, gin and art. They host tastings and share the history of their distillery.

The Blush Candle Co based in Drumnadrochit offer hand-poured, natural wax melts and candles.

The Health Shop in Inverness offers speciality and organic food, gifts & health products.

Timeless Spa & Beauty Ltd run by Caoimhe Simpson offer a range of spa and beauty treatments in Inverness city centre.

Leakey’s bookshop is Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop complete with an open log fire.

Malvina Resin Design’s offer bespoke resin designs including coasters, trays and keyrings.

Crafty Wee Birdie in Nairn sells up-cycled furniture, paintings, prints ceramics and textiles.

Craggan Outdoors and Active Outdoor Pursuits offer vouchers, a great idea for those who love the outdoors and being active.

Ness Music stock a carefully selected range of musical instruments, accessories, hi-fi separates and systems.

Pro Fish Services Ltd deliver fresh seafood across the Highlands and have gift vouchers available too.

The above is just a small selection of some of the fantastic offerings we have in the constituency, so whether you shop with them or elsewhere this Christmas, do give a thought to small businesses and know that they will be so grateful for any support you give them this festive season.

Keep up to date with new articles at www.drewhendrymp.scot

Find out more about my work in parliament at www.theyworkforyou.com