The Coronavirus pandemic has affected brands unevenly and has been a wake-up call for every corporate and small business - leading them to surge, sink or to steadily hold on. With this and the huge growth of the internet and the near-death of many high-street shops, a revolution to ‘support local businesses’ strongly emerges. Here are our top 5 reasons to shop local and support locally owned businesses:
1. Community scalability and well-being
Supporting local business helps form organic connections that help to form relationships built on trust, loyalty, and personal experience within your local community. When you support a local business, you become familiar with the staff and the owners behind the business and in effect, you are supporting neighbours, friends, and family.
Moreover, since the Coronavirus lockdown we have learned that supporting local shops is fundamentally important for the vulnerable, elderly, and those without access to the internet, or transportation. Helping people within a community helps strengthens community well-being. In fact, community well-being works all-round ‘Local businesses happen to serve the local community, in return the local community serves them.’
2. Local economic advantage
When you as a consumer purchase a product from a local business, more money stays in the local community which helps to support and shape local infrastructure, public services and creates a wealth of local job opportunities.
According to the National Federation of Self Employed & Small Business (FSB) UK Small business statistics:
"At the start of 2019, there were 5.82 million small businesses (with 0-49 employees), 99.3% of the total business. SME’s account for 99.9% of the business population (5.9 million).
“1.4 million of these had employees”.
“The UK private sector population is made up of 3.5 million sole proprietorships (59% of the total), 2.0 million actively trading companies (34%) and 405,000 ordinary partnerships (7%) in 2019.
3. Community preservation
Local businesses can add character and unique incentives to towns and villages, in fact they are often small or quaint boutique-style shops and a unique attraction for people visiting or passing by. These types of local businesses offer an alternative experience to the typical high street chain stores.
They work just as hard if not harder to serve and value their consumers because the success of their business depends on it. Public benefits include but are not limited to local incentives, faster delivery, free delivery, local collection, local meetups, community groups and community events. Additionally, there are those one-of-a-kind products and services that add value to a community and its tourism. Consumers locally supporting a business of this nature can ensure that the originality and authenticity of the local business is preserved.
4. Environmental sustainability
Local businesses can help to sustain the local environment and the local community by running and promoting an environmentally (go green or eco-¬friendly business which can involve recycling, reducing reliance on natural resources, reducing pollution and more. Consumers who are in support for the local environment and the general well-being of the community should have more reason to support an environmentally friendly business over one that does nothing to help the environment and consequently the community. Shopping local also means more walking, cycling and less mileage and petrol costs for you, which also helps to reduce CO2 emissions.
5. Healthy competition
A multitude of small local businesses are in competition with other like-for-like local businesses. Healthy competition is generally good for consumers because it provides a broader scope of product or service offerings. Local competition can also inspire diverse sponsorships and donations to local charities, trusts and non-profit organisations and create opportunities for innovative community projects and improvements.
Overall, no matter how tempting it can be to default to making online purchases, shopping locally and supporting your local community can be convenient, cost-effective and a more pleasant and personal experience for you.