Keep it Local
Help support our community by using local small businesses and retailers.
Did you know there were 5.6 million small businesses in the UK in 2021? And that figure showed a drop of 6.5% since 2020? Doing more to support our small local businesses, not only helps them out, but has a number of benefits for our local community.
For a start, using local businesses brings money into the local economy, whether you buy from a shop, eat in a restaurant or use the services of a local financial adviser. A study by Civic Economics revealed that local retailers return around 52% of their revenue to the local economy, compared with 16% for chains, while local restaurants re-circulate around 79% locally, compared with 30% for chain restaurants.
Supporting local can also contribute to local employment. By supporting the high street and local business, you can help to save and create jobs in local communities, often helping young and disadvantaged people to find employment.
And if you believe buying from independent retailers is expensive, you may be surprised to find out how competitive prices are in local shops – especially when compared to ordering online and paying for postage. And of course, they are so convenient! You can pop in and get what you want, benefiting from personal advice and specialist knowledge.
Not only that, but you can source more unusual items – and by supporting independent retailers, you are helping to keep variety on our local high streets.
We are very lucky to have our local high streets – many other towns have seen their specialist retailers squeezed by out-of-town retail parks and big chains, but Berkhamsted, Tring and the surrounding villages still retain their unique character. A thriving high street offers a place where we can socialise as well as shop. And of course local businesses generate revenue, which in turn supports council services such as libraries, parks and roads that benefit the local community.
What’s more, local companies offer a personal service that you can trust; you know exactly where they are, and that their local reputation is important to them. They are not anonymous people at the end of a phone or email – but members of our community.
Finally, it’s good to know that supporting local businesses can help the environment. They often source their goods locally, which helps to reduce their carbon footprint. And if you can walk or cycle to the shop or business, you are also reducing air pollution and traffic and improving the general quality of the town.
So before you go online or reach for the phone, think local first.
Our thanks to the sponsors of this article:
Acquiredmind HR Consultancy
Alison Page Marketing
Creative Collective Popups
Neil Moran Associates
Stringer Mann Chartered Financial Planners
Wigginton Village Shop and Café