Support Local Business
Being as it’s Local Business week I’m focussing this article on the many benefits of buying local, and why everyone should, seek out and support their weekly farmers markets. Buy from the local corner shop. Eat, drink and meet friends at local independent cafés; and find your gift purchases from the small, local designers or artisans. The recipients of the latter will be far more thrilled with the individuality of the gift, rather than something which is mass manufactured.
I am so passionate about local business, that not only do I make 70% of my purchases from small independents. When I have to buy products I can’t get from a local source, I shop in the Co-op (which is a Social Enterprise) I also support local small business in my business life. I made a point when I set-up Virtuoso-PA that I was going to concentrate my business support to local small business. I’m delighted to say that today all of my clients’ have businesses local to me where I live and work in Exeter, Devon and we can and do have regular face to face meetings.
I understand and know their concerns, because I live it with them myself.
So, what are the benefits of supporting Local Business?
You will be supporting local entrepreneurs
Instead of spending your money at large multi-nationals, support locals who have grafted from the ground up to establish their small business. We want to keep this unique and creative mentality booming, so why not support your local entrepreneur instead of frequenting the concrete and chrome companies that start to make every city and town look and feel the same. Celebrate their entrepreneurial spirit, their dreams and talents by helping their businesses to grow and your local economy thrive.
You help build communities
When local businesses are supported by the people who live in the area there grows a greater sense of community. In the area where I am lucky to live and work we have many community events; which are organised by the local businesses themselves. They understand the needs of the community and the proceeds from theses events go back to local charities or into the area where they are located.
While a local small business obviously needs to thrive, they also understand the importance of other local organisations and non-profits. So, community events not only benefit the local community, they also benefit the local small businesses which aren’t directly involved with the event.
Keep your community unique
We choose a place to live for many reasons. One of which is the way it looks; its character. Given the choice would anyone prefer to live in a concrete high-rise over an original brick built terraced property? If we let the bland corporates take over, we lose a lot of the originality from within our community. When we support local business, we’re supporting them to help maintain and sustain the unique personality we’re often so proud of, and as many of us know when we’re proud of something we tend to value it.
Create more local jobs
According to the Federation of Small Business total employment in SMEs was 15.6 million during 2015 that’s 60% of all private sector employment in the UK. It’s logical that when a new local small business is created, there soon follows new local employment, and the more we support them the greater chance they have of expanding, while still continuing their local grass roots unique appeal.
Get better service
When you buy from smaller local business, you’re more likely to find friendlier, more knowledgeable people behind the counter waiting to help you with your questions and purchases. Most small businesses also understand the importance of keeping customers happy and want the customers to return to purchase from them repeatedly, so they are willing to go the extra mile to help you out. You may also find that with more personalised service you may benefit and receive a better deal – in the form of informal discounts, or an extra cupcake from the bakery, especially if you become a known regular… or is that just me and my cupcake addiction.
If you value quality fresh produce, innovative ideas and a personal service get out and visit your local small business. Drop in to take a look at what they are offering; by preserving local small business you are also preserving your community. I can guarantee you’ll miss it when it’s gone, and it won’t be there without your support.
Make a pledge today to support your Local Small Businesses.