Top 5 Reasons to Shop Local
20 January 2021
At Localise we’re all for shopping local
Our work focuses on supporting indie businesses and our primary goal is to have a positive impact on our neighbourhoods – from promoting local shops and their products and services, to building a real sense of connectedness and belonging within our communities.
There are many benefits of shopping locally at independently owned businesses – here are our top five:
1. Drives a circular money-flow that positively impacts local economies
With as much as £50-£70 of every £100 spent in indie stores circulating back into the local economy, the benefits for high-streets, small towns and villages is huge. By spending that same money in other local shops, restaurants and on services – from accountants to web developers – our independents back the community they serve with their own buck.
This organic movement of cash in the local environment immediately contributes to more wealth development, including more jobs in the catchment area. National statistics show how the money-flow created by local indie employees and the self-employed, is higher. For every £10 spent with an independent, as much as £25 is generated for the local economy – comparably, you’d have to spend £14 in a multinational to match the same £25 return*.
The economic impact of shopping locally is positive in several ways. With more money circulating in the local economy, not only are the local shops more prosperous, so is everyone else – more taxes are paid, more people are employed, there’s more in the pot for town regeneration and more people want to live there, which helps property prices.
*Source: Evening Standard
2. Vibrant, happier and more connected communities …
Village pockets and high streets come alive through our active participation within them. They’re the heartbeats of local communities – hubs where we congregate and socialise as much as shop. And, ultimately, spending local ensures they keep thriving.
Small business owners are more in touch with our real needs and base their stock inventories on our choices rather than greater national trends. They’re also more readily willing to hear our suggestions about items for them to source. Passionate about their businesses and keen to keep their shoppers happy, their service style tends to be better with a personal touch – they know that reputation matters and appreciate repeat custom and love connecting with their regular clients.
Our local shops are also important from an accessibility point of view for the elderly, vulnerable and young, that might not have access to private transport but want to keep a level of independence. For some that have no choice but to live in restricted ways, their local trips might be one of the few external connections they enjoy in a week, so our community hubs contribute significantly to our whole hood’s well-being.
3. Indies encourage others with novel ideas to launch their own enterprises
Indies can feel like a breath of fresh air among high-streets that have become over-populated by bigger companies and, the more indies that succeed in our local environs, the more we see spring up.
By seeking them out, we can support the brave entrepreneurs among us. It can take a lot of courage to set up on your own for the first time and indie founders have often had to work hard to get off the ground. Their individuality, innovation and originality are a great encouragement for all of us with creative ideas that dream of launching our own business.
Through Localise’s interaction with indie founders, we’ve found the vast majority to be positive, personable and helpful. So, if you have a business idea you want to explore and need advice on where to get started, connecting with your local indies might be a great place to start.
4. Greener footprints and healthier lifestyles are encouraged by shorter journeys
Shopping locally helps the environment. By opting for shops that are nearby, we quickly reduce our carbon footprints. With shorter journeys air pollution falls, traffic flows ease and the overall impact on the environment is greatly improved.
Indies often stock a higher percentage of locally sourced goods that means their distribution or purchasing journey times are significantly shorter than centralised national delivery drops. Plus, with many village centres and high-streets located within walking distance, rather than the drive it might take to get to larger superstores or shopping centres, there’s less of a need for the use of cars.
There are other plus points too. By choosing to walk or cycle, we’re able to build regular exercise into our routines. And, on repetitive journeys outdoors, we build meaningful connections with others that follow the same routes – passing smiles or hellos are often where neighbourhood friendships begin. We also set a healthy example for our children and others that might be encouraged to join in when they see us swap our car keys for trainers.
5. Led by people with passion and character, indies play a part in shaping our communities
Run by people that got started because they had a unique proposition they wanted to share publicly, indies are found expressing their own personality and individuality in many ways.
In the form of welcoming or intriguing shop fronts often with warm, quirksome interiors and individualistic products, the best get cited as places to visit in tourist guides and become a local treasure. Their natural authenticity that beds character into the community, is always more inviting than a chain. Across our nation, there are whole neighborhoods that are formed on this basis – places such as Camden and the Laines in Brighton that are full of small shops and services, thrive because of a healthy view of indies, despite the bigger chains being just as easily accessed nearby.
By supporting indies, apps such as Localise have activated a movement that pushes for more distinctive shopping experiences. Independents keep traditional local products alive and respond faster to our changing needs. During the current pandemic, we’ve seen a swift turnaround by the most creatively minded business-owners – indie restaurants turned into take-out delis for their local catchment areas, bigger fish-mongers that couldn’t supply high-class restaurants boxed up the freshest catch and started shipping directly to keen home-cooks, independent distilleries became hand sanitizer manufacturers.
To sum it up, shopping local isn’t just about transactional purchases alone. The circular money-flow that sustains healthy local economies is the beat around which bigger community hubs form. From support services such as barbers and dentists, to social and recreational places to eat, drink, get creative and do sports, we build vital centres where we get to connect. An innate human need – and one that we need now more than ever, because connection is vital to our happiness and health.
Remember – a small decision every time you head to the shops can make a real difference over time not just to your local retailers, but to the entire neighbourhood. So don’t forget – think #shoplocal.
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