A company responsible for launching thousands of UK startups has packaged up some of the best gifts offered by its entrepreneurs to help shoppers support independent businesses this Christmas.

In a year when small businesses need the festive spending power of customers more than ever before, Transmit Startups has launched its first Christmas Gift Guide to showcase the outstanding and original ideas offered by its makers and retailers.

Gateshead-based Transmit Startups is the UK’s leading provider of Start Up Loans for business, having backed the dreams of 7,853 entrepreneurs with almost £80 million since 2012. This year the company has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of people making plans to set up their own small business.

One gift can make two Christmases

Marketing Manager Suzy Jackson said: “Thousands of people are continuing to put their faith in themselves by starting their own businesses, even in the middle of a global pandemic, and they're doing well - but we can help them do better.

"This is the year that people have become acutely aware of the origins of their purchases and of the complex and environmentally costly global supply chains that deliver mass-produced items to your door in hours. But there is another way – by choosing to buy from a startup, you're helping people in your very community to thrive.

"The fantastic businesses featured in our guide all have fascinating personal stories attached to them as well as unique, impressive and original gifts to offer.”

Original ideas from UK startups

The Transmit team have curated a range of 50 independent businesses from across the UK that they have supported over the years, with gifts ranging from art and artisan crafts to eco-friendly and ethical ideas.

Among the North East businesses in the guide are ceramics specialist Popolo Ceramacio and cheese shop Grate from Newcastle, Tempt Me Tempeh and sticky toffee pudding maker Sweet Patisserie from Whitley Bay and home fragrance business Castle Wax from Cramlington.

Rory McDonald, founder of Golden Oak Restorations

Rory McDonald, founder of Inverclyde-based Golden Oak Restorations, which turns old whisky barrels into furniture, explained why his company’s inclusion in the guide means so much. He said: "When people buy from a local, independent business like ours, they have a direct impact on our community.

"There’s no shame in buying from big multinationals, but when you buy from us your money does so much more. It goes straight back into employing local people, who buy from local shops and who look after their neighbourhoods. We get so much more bang for your buck!”

Transmit Startups provide fixed-interest loans and high impact mentoring to aspiring entrepreneurs who are struggling to access traditional finance. The loans are available to businesses under two years old.

A different approach to supporting startups

Transmit Startups' Suzy Jackson says it's never been more important to support independent businesses

The company was created by North East entrepreneurs Richard Myers, Damian Baetens and Ian Straker, who shared an ambition to help others start out in the world of business by offering a refreshingly different approach to enterprise support.

Transmit employs 28 people across its head office at Northern Design Centre, Gateshead, its Scottish base in Glasgow and its network of consultants across the UK. It offers funding, consulting, coaching and mentoring services to entrepreneurs throughout their business journey.

Click here to view and download the Christmas Gift Guide.