One unexpected and welcome outcome from the Covid-19 lockdown was the way in which many small businesses were able to adapt so that they could keep trading in some way. We’ve seen cafes become grocers, restaurants develop collection and takeaway services almost overnight, shops develop online e-commerce stores, and salon owners become YouTube stars as they shared 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 Your Call Magazine, 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 as more and more businesses are opening back up and trading again, they really do need your support more than ever! So here are 5 reasons why shopping local matters, and it has never been more important:
- It builds local communities and strengthens local economies
When you support a local business, you are supporting your friends, family and neighbours, and their 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.
- Local small businesses add character to cities, towns and villages
A small business or boutique shop adds character to the city, town or village when you walk or drive by. 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.
- Shopping local creates more job opportunities and encourages entrepreneurship
A local business that becomes a success will grow, and as they grow, they will recruit more staff from the local community. 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!
- 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 really 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 may not be able to do.
- 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 buying online but shopping locally can be just as cost-effective and convenient whilst supporting your local community, and community spirit is what has largely got us through these last few very difficult months!