With Christmas right around the corner, why not shop locally for your loved ones this year?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and national lockdowns hitting small businesses, it's more important  than ever to shop independently this festive season.

As part of 'Small Business Saturday' we've compiled a few of our favourites that should be on your radar:

Jez Boutique

Where: Broadway, SS9, Southend-on-Sea, Leigh-on-Sea

Basildon Standard:

(Image - Jez Boutique)

Jez is an independent boutique based in the Leigh-on-Sea broadway.

The small family run business has been going for 28 years and the shop takes its name after the owners three daughters, Jilly, Eloise and Zoe. 

Committed to bringing their clients the best that fashion has to offer, there are a specialist team of buyers that carefully select each piece. 

Eloise Hecker, from Jez Boutique said: "We are looking forward to welcoming back our customers over the Christmas period.

"At Jez we have a great range of comfortable loungewear, chunky cardigans, coats and accessories with something to suit everyone."

You can also shop online through their website.

Quinns

Where: 181 The Broadway, Thorpe Bay, Southend-on-Sea SS1 3EX

Basildon Standard:

(Image - Quinns)

Founded in 2012, Quinns of Thorpe Bay is a magical independent shop filled with stylish home accessories and gorgeous gifts. 

The small family run business has a strong team of friendly and enthusiastic staff who are always on hand to help you pick out a special Christmas gift. 

Quinns has an ever changing stock so you'll always find something new and there really is something for everyone's budget. 

You can now shop online through their website and they offer free delivery to SS1 and SS3 postcodes or with a small shipping charge outside of these areas plus free click & collect.

Argosy Toys

Where: 553 London Rd, Westcliff-on-Sea SS0 9LJ

Basildon Standard:

(Image - Argosy Toys)

This gorgeous toy shop is a magical world like no other, with fun at the heart of the shop there are hundreds of toys to choose from and shopping here is a wonderful experience for all the family. 

Trading since 1947 the shop recently opened its first floor showroom which showcases bikes, LEGO, scooters, roller skates and more. 

Find out more on their website

Puddle and Goose

Where: 1-3 Broadway W, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 2BZ

Basildon Standard:

(Image - Puddle and Goose)

Puddle and Goose is a must-visit if you're in Leigh on Sea. 

The family owned business is run by mother and daughter team Sue and Jess (along with Cooper the dog). 

Every item has been hand-picked and carefully curated to ensure your shopping experience is unique and enjoyable.

At Puddle and Goose there are affordable, unique and ever-changing products which are ideal, whether you're looking for the perfect gift for someone or something to treat yourself. 

Treasured items that can be found at this gorgeous artisan store include elegant and contemporary jewellery, stylish scarves and accessories, as well as a wide range of giftware and UK-made home fragrance.

For more information visit their website. 

Jacqson Diego Story Emporium

Where:444 London Road, Westcliff on Sea, SS0 9LN

Basildon Standard:

(Image - Jacqson Diego Story Emporium)

This award winning children’s bookshop is filled with books, stories and oodles of imagination, creativity and wonder for young people from birth to 16 years.

As the only independent bookshop in Southend this space brings together everything you need to inspire young people through books and stories.

There truly is a book for every child with new stock arriving daily to keep your little ones on their toes. 

Oh and have you ever wanted to have a whole bookshop to yourself? You can hire out the entire shop for just £5 for 25 minutes which is a great gift for any child.

Find out more online. 

Will you be shopping local this Christmas? Let us know in the comments.