One unexpected and welcome outcome from the Coronavirus lockdown is the way in which many small businesses have been able to adapt so that they can keep trading. We’ve seen cafes become grocers, restaurants develop collection and take-away services almost overnight, shops develop online e-commerce stores, and salon owners becoming YouTube stars as they share their skills and expertise with ever widening and appreciative audiences.
Even during times of crisis, the demand to shop can open up new opportunities in many industries. At Ciren Scene we’ve always believed that shopping local plays a vital role, and no matter what our world will look like in the future we should all carry on supporting local enterprise.
So, here are 5 reasons why shopping local matters, now more than ever.
1. It builds local communities & strengthens local economies
When you support a local business, you are supporting your friends, family, and neighbours. The availability of local shops is especially important for the elderly, vulnerable, young people and those without access to private transport. Plus, the more money that local councils make in rent and rates, the more they can spend on supporting local infrastructure and public services.
2. Local small businesses add character to towns and villages
A small business or boutique shop adds character to the city or town when you walk or drive by. In a world that has become increasingly dominated by chain stores, a local business’s branding is unique and often quirky, adding something different to your High Street, offering an alternative experience, and bringing a much needed breath of fresh air into areas populated by generic stores and companies.
3. Shopping local creates more job opportunities and encourages entrepreneurship
A local business that becomes a success will grow, and as they grow, they’ll recruit more staff from the local population. Plus, their success will encourage other local businesses to open up to take advantage of the footfall, encouraging other people to take the plunge and become entrepreneurs too!
4. You get a more personalised service
Local business owners are friendly and engaging, they get to know their customers at a personal level and can provide better advice about their products and services. Local traders value your business more since their survival depends on their good reputation and repeat business. They can often adapt their products to suit your personal requirements, or source something bespoke for you, which big chains won’t do.
5. It’s better for the environment
Shopping local means less mileage and petrol costs for you, which helps reduce CO2 emissions. Plus, local shops often stock locally sourced goods which not only supports the local economy but also reduces transport times and costs of the goods, which impacts positively on their carbon footprint.
We know it’s tempting to default to the big chains or to buy online. But shopping locally is usually just as cost-effective and convenient, plus you are supporting your local community, rather than put money in nameless shareholders’ pockets.
By Raj Nagji www.localdirectoryltd.co.uk