Supporting Local Business.
It’s not uncommon to hear people saying that you should support your local businesses. However, during the current coronavirus public health crisis, it is ever more critical that we understand what a difference we can make by spending our money closer to home.
But how do we support local business, and what are the benefits of doing this?
Many local businesses are small operations. Although many can still be a major employer within your local area.
But why should you choose to spend your money with local businesses, when you might be able to get similar goods or services cheaper from a national or even an international chain that operates in your town?
Here’s why you should be supporting local businesses at every opportunity.
You are Putting Your Money into the Local Economy
Local businesses need your custom to grow and thrive. When you spend money in a local business, it is estimated that over 60% of this money will stay in the local economy. This is compared to just 40% for larger, national chains.
Where many high-streets have empty shops, local authorities that have encouraged local businesses to open will add value to the local economy.
The presence of local independent businesses increases footfall throughout the high-street, helps to attract visitors from neighboring towns and cities, and improves overall spending in all businesses in the area.
In towns and cities where local businesses have been encouraged to flourish, house prices typically rise in value faster than the national average. This is great for local homeowners.
With the looming financial crisis, buying local will help keep as much money in your local economy.
Buying Locally Creates Diversity in the Area
How many towns and cities do you know that are primarily made up of streets full of the same shops and restaurants? You may know precisely what you’re going to expect from a major chain, but it does lead to towns and cities becoming bland, homogonous, and indistinguishable from each other.
Often, this leads to a loss of character in the local area which in turn can make it harder to attract visitors and investors.
In towns and cities where independent businesses have been encouraged, there is typically much more character.
For shoppers visiting areas with more independent stores, shopping will become a new and exciting experience, and you may find products that are not available in the major chains.
Buying Local Supports Local Jobs
One of the major benefits of supporting a local business is that you will enable them to hire and retain local workers. The more customers a business receives, the more employees they’ll need.
During these difficult and uncertain times, the need for more local jobs may well arise. If you can help retain local jobs by buying from local companies, you should.
Local Entrepreneurs Lead the Way for Others in the Area To Succeed
If you support local businesses, you’re encouraging innovation.
In many towns and cities, there may not be opportunities to develop business ideas, products, or brands. If there is not the infrastructure in place that actively encourages businesses to open, it can be tough for many to get off the ground. Many people with business ideas may not even attempt to start a business because of the lack of local successful role models.
However, as local entrepreneurs are allowed to build their businesses around the local area, they’ll often give back to the economy in many ways.
Local entrepreneurs may be involved in helping others through support, training, or mentorship. They may also have substantial involvement in local charities.
As the world recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, we’ll need proactive local business leaders to help rebuild local economies by raising others up.
Buying Local Means You’ll Get a Better Quality of Service
When you shop at an independently owned business, you’ll often find that you’ll recieve a higher standard of service than a major chain.
If the business is run by its owners, the people serving you will have a strong incentive to deliver a memorable service. Even when the service is not being delivered by the company owner, you’ll find that the employees that you come into contact with will care more about their job and the workplace than they might if they worked for a much larger company.
Buying Locally Helps to Build Communities
Many small businesses are community-focused. You may find bookshops will run book clubs or cafes and pubs that run quizzes or other events. Often, these events are a great place to connect with others from your local area.
Local business owners may be connected with local sports teams and provide sponsorship and support in other ways. In the wake of the global pandemic, it has become evident how important local communities are. By supporting local businesses, you’re investing in the local community.
Supporting Local Business is Better for the Environment
Many smaller local businesses will be more environmentally conscious. They may try and source their supplies and produce from other local businesses. This leads to a supply chain with a low carbon footprint.
If local businesses are within walking distance of many of their customers, there will also be less need for people to drive to them. Again, this helps reduce the pollution associated with the business.
With lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures in place, as a society, we’ve had to adapt quickly. Businesses that are closer to home are now providing an essential service. We must all try our bit to keep these open and thriving.