The way in which we shop has changed in recent years and much of that has come down to the internet and supermarkets. The former has opened up our world to a range of goods, enabling us to purchase products from around the world and all at a lower price. The latter has gone from selling food products alone to enabling us to purchase the majority of the things we need from under one roof. To add to this, out-of-town retail parks have also caused the high street to suffer, which means that local businesses have had to work exceptionally hard to compete. With this in mind, there are many reasons to shop locally, so let’s explore those reasons.
Enhance The Local Economy
Believe it or not, the local economy is the backbone of the economy. When you choose to shop local, you’re helping to boost the economy in many ways. For every pound that you spend using an online menu ordering system with a local takeaway, more money will remain in the local economy, unlike that of money spent with larger businesses. In areas where the high street is packed with thriving shops, it also means that house prices increase too.
It Makes Sense Ethically
We have a desire to eat produce that is out of season which means that you are more than likely purchasing produce that has been flown or shipped around the world. Furthermore, all of this produce is needlessly wrapped in plastic that does harm to the environment. When you opt to shop at a local farm shop, a butcher or a baker, the goods you purchase are fresh and have a short farm journey to your plate, making it a better choice ethically. Along with this, you will also be doing your bit to support local businesses and growers.
It Helps to Create Jobs
Sure, you might think nothing of ordering through a food delivery app but what you will also be doing is investing in local businesses which means you’re more than likely helping to support and create jobs. On a national level, small businesses are the biggest employer of jobs and provide the largest number of local jobs to communities. To add to this, local businesses are also more likely to pay better wages than large chains. When you play your part and help to increase jobs in the area, it will make your area a better place to live.
Shopping Online isn’t Always the Best Option
Many of us believe that the best deals are only located online but this is not necessarily the truth. We are constantly shown adverts whereby we can access deals online, where we can save money and get more but this shouldn’t mean that you avoid the high street and local businesses. Many national businesses claim to have the best prices but this is not always the case. Shop around locally and you will find small businesses offering more because they have to compete and offer deals to entice new customers. So, it’s well worth doing your research because not only will you benefit from better prices but you’ll also benefit from a better service.
Experience Character and Personality
Why should we be satisfied with receiving a faceless service from businesses who only care about taking our money? With independent, local businesses, you’ll discover people who care about what they do and therefore, they care about each customer too. This means that they will place a focus on ensuring they keep their business presentable and in line with the look of the surrounding area. This offers something completely unique when compared to that of a chain.
Enhanced Customer Service
Shopping isn’t just about purchasing goods and returning home. Sometimes, consumers need guidance on products or a more personalised service whereby the business owner takes pride in being able to offer advice on new stock, current offers and products. This personal touch goes a long way towards customer satisfaction and although you can get good customer service with large businesses, this is not always the case. If you need a specific product, often they can source it themselves and keep you informed when products arrive or even updates on orders. They are more committed to delivering customer satisfaction and are always willing to go that extra mile to ensure you experience it.
Better For the Environment
Of course, we have all had a need to make the trip to a shopping centre or an out-of-town retail park. In the majority of instances, most of us need to drive there because they are often a distance away from where we live. What this means is that we need to use our cars to get there and that has an impact on the environment. When we have independent stores on our high streets, they are more often than not, within walking distance and that means that there is reduced traffic and pollution, improving the quality of the environment.
One chain store located in one part of the country will look exactly the same as one in another part of the country. There is no originality or individuality with chain stores yet independent businesses are unique and that’s a refreshing touch to any high street.
Support Local Entrepreneurs
A local business is more than just a shop front. Hard work, effort and money has been put into getting the business up and running which makes it important to support them. These entrepreneurs have a dream and a desire to offer something to local people which should count for a lot. As a result, we should do all we can to support them, after all, their business will do a lot of good for the local economy and local people.
Shopping locally makes sense in so many ways. For a more personal service and a better experience then shopping local is the way to go. It’s a challenging time for any business which gives us even more of a reason to go local when we shop.