Locally owned businesses are a huge part of the UK’s economy. They make up a sizeable percentage of the private sector workforce and are often the logical choice when it comes to sourcing a particular item. These businesses tend to be more socially responsible and contribute a fair amount to local habitats. While there are some disadvantages to this model of business, such as less revenue and a smaller safety net, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
A small local business might be able to deliver a more expensive item, but they are more likely to go the extra mile in putting you first. Smaller businesses also have the advantage of being able to respond quickly to changing economic conditions. During a recession, when jobs are hard to come by, it is important to keep businesses alive and kicking.
In addition to being more enticing to customers, supporting a local business also makes the community a better place to live. Businesses in a given neighborhood are more likely to hire local employees and use public services more efficiently. Additionally, more jobs means fewer commuting hours and less carbon emissions.
As the name implies, a local business is typically located in a single geographical location. This means that they are more likely to have an effect on the local zeitgeist. For example, they are more likely to participate in charity events or fundraisers. Furthermore, they are more likely to offer a product that you’ll actually want to buy.
When you shop locally, you’re also more likely to find the best deals. Unlike large chain stores, most local businesses are more likely to carry a wide selection of unique products. The icing on the cake is that these businesses know their customers and are often willing to give you a better price.
Aside from saving you money, shopping locally also improves your environment. It reduces your carbon footprint by reducing non-recyclable packaging, and by reducing the carbon dioxide produced by driving to the store. Shopping locally also supports the economy as a whole, with many local businesses hiring locals to work for them. Those aforementioned perks notwithstanding, a strong digital presence can increase your local business’s visibility.
However, the most important aspect of shopping local is that it benefits your community. Supporting your local business is one of the simplest ways to ensure that you and your family can continue to enjoy the same quality of life. Whether it’s your favorite restaurant, a quaint clothing boutique, or a swanky spa, you should take the time to support your local business.
Having said that, the local business may not have everything you’re looking for. That’s not to say that you won’t have fun trying. Just keep in mind that you should be more selective about where you spend your money, and you will be happier in the process.
The biggest and most important reason to shop local is that it’s the smartest thing you can do for your community. You’re making a conscious effort to support your neighbors, while demonstrating to them that you’re a real person who values their time and their input.