Internet shopping and a tendency to visit familiar multinational and big-chain restaurants are chipping away at communities and making life considerably blander.
While choosing big-name businesses over small might save you money and time in the short-term, in the long-term preserving the character of your local high street could be worth a lot more than you think.
Here’s our top 10 reasons for spending some of your pounds locally:
1. You can help build communities. Popping out to your local butcher, florist, restaurant or pub builds familiarity. It’s the way friendships are made – the old-fashioned way, through eye-contact, a friendly ‘hello’ and a little small talk. And independent businesses often organise local events which create community ties.
2. For every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, an estimated 63p stays in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.
3. Experiences are richer and more colourful when you choose local and independent over national and homogeneous.
4. Most new jobs are provided by local businesses – according to the Federation of Small Businesses, small and medium sized business employ around 58% of the UK’s private sector workforce.
5. Independent retailers often stock locally-made items which aren’t available elsewhere, so you can choose things which are truly unique.
6. It’s often better for the environment. Local businesses make more local purchases, which require less transportation and they’re usually in town centres rather than contributing to urban sprawl, habitat loss and pollution.
7. Home-owners who live near high streets with thriving independent businesses benefit from a boost in property value.
8. Customer service is often better.
9. You can sometimes try before you buy – it’s a great way to discover new flavours.
10. Through initiatives like The Local Buyers Club, independent retailers can use their discretion to reward local and loyal custom and that means savings for you. We help to promote local and independent businesses and encourage people to spend a little extra locally if possible.
Put bluntly, it’s a case of ‘use it or lose it’. Shops will only survive if we spend locally - the cost of burying our heads in the sand or, for want of a more modern analogy: ‘living too virtually’, could be the erosion of community life, less enriching experiences, loss of local employment and a less buoyant local economy.
Support and save at local and independent businesses near you, join Local Buyers Club here.