Shopping locally supports the economy, creates jobs for local people and offers a shopping experience you just won’t get when splashing your cash with multinationals or online retail giants. Want to help preserve the unique character of your local town while helping your community thrive and prosper? These are just some of the reasons why you should shop locally this year and beyond.
Why shop local?
There’s no doubt that small independent shops and businesses are the backbone of the UK economy. According to the FSB, there are around 5.9 million small businesses in the UK, accounting for a whopping 99.3% of all businesses and supporting millions of jobs across the country.
Unfortunately, it’s also no secret that many of the figures around local shops and town centres make for rather grim reading, with a study by the Local Data Company finding that British high streets lost 11,000 shops in 2020 alone.
So, it’s clear that we all need to do our bit and support independent businesses by shopping locally. It feels great to support local businesses - and it isn’t just good for the businesses themselves, it’s great for you as the consumer. Find everything you could possibly need on your local high street, with unique products and produce all served by your friendly local shopkeeper. What’s not to love?
1. Support the local economy
Want to know why you should shop locally? Let’s start with the local economy. When you shop locally, you are helping provide vital financial support to local businesses and their owners, helping them thrive and supporting local jobs.
What’s more, spending locally really helps the wider local economy and community at large. This is because more money stays in the local area, with small business owners and their employees in turn spending more money with other local businesses. Local authority research shows that for every £1 spent locally, £0.63 of that money stays within the local economy. By comparison, only 40p is kept locally when buying from larger businesses!
2. Create more jobs
Figures from the FSB show small businesses employ 13.3 million people, which is around half of the entire UK workforce. In addition, small businesses account for a large proportion of net job creation, boosting local employment levels and creating further opportunities for these employees to spend money in their local community.
In short, shopping locally supports existing jobs and helps create new ones as local businesses expand and grow. By supporting local, you’ll play your part in creating jobs for your community and having a positive impact on your area, making it a better place to live and work.
3. Fresh, customised and unique goods
Take a trip to your local shops and you’ll soon realise that Amazon isn’t always best when it comes to choice. Independent shops often stock locally made items that you just won’t find anywhere else.
Searching for the perfect gift? You’ll find tons of quirky and unusual items in local stores. Sprucing up your home? Don’t buy the same rug everyone else has - turn to a local specialist and find furnishings and accessories that are truly unique and will make your home stand out from the crowd.
Local shops are also the perfect place to shop for your everyday essentials. Buy local produce that came from local farms and you’ll ensure your mealtimes are extra tasty, while also helping put food on the farmer’s table. It’s a win, win for everyone.
4. Help your community to thrive
If there’s anything we’ve learnt over the course of the pandemic, it’s the importance of interacting with other human beings, looking out for each other and feeling part of a community.
Our town centres and high streets are at the heart of this, being the perfect place to meet up with others, interact with your friendly local shopkeeper, or simply just sit and watch the world go by. It’s also the perfect place for hosting events, like local community groups or book clubs that can be a lifeline for many people.
Just imagine how terrible a world without local businesses would actually be! By shopping locally, you can help to support this community, enabling it to thrive and safeguarding it for future generations.
5. A better shopping experience
We love shopping locally because it offers an experience you just don’t get when shopping online or in chain stores...
We’re talking about the local baker who throws in an extra cupcake for being a regular, or the friendly owner who becomes like a friend, knowing they’ll see you on a certain day and asking how you are keeping.
Local businesses also tend to care more about their customers, offering tailored service and personal advice or recommendations on the best items to buy. This kind of experience is one of the best reasons why you should shop locally.
6. Preserve the personality and character of your area
Local businesses aren’t run by faceless corporations where everything is the same. Local shops are often brimming with personality, run by local people who really care about the unique character of the area and providing a natural authenticity you just don’t get in a chain store.
By shopping locally, you can help to keep these amazing businesses alive and preserve the unique personality and aesthetics of your town, creating a sense of community and boosting people’s pride in where they live.
7. Help the environment
Why drive to the supermarket when you can walk to the local store just around the corner? Equally, it makes little sense to have something shipped from the other side of the country when it’s all available on your local high street.
By shopping locally, you can play a part in reducing traffic and air pollution - and you might even save a little bit of money on petrol!
You can also make the choice to shop with local businesses who promote environmental sustainability and offer products made from recyclable materials.
8. Shorter lines, less hassle
Don’t spend time queuing in Primark or waiting in a long line just to be served at the supermarket. Local shops provide an all round better shopping experience, where you can browse in comfort, get the advice you need and be served quickly.
What about if something goes wrong? It’s great to know that you can pop back into the shop to sort it out, rather than spending an hour on the phone to a call centre waiting for your query to be dealt with.
Why you should shop locally as often as you can
Of course, the more money you spend locally, the better! On average, consumers spend around a fifth of their money logically, but by making just a few small changes to your shopping habits you could easily double this amount...
Shopping for fruit and veg? Skip the supermarket and buy it from your friendly local shopkeeper. Sprucing up your home or updating your wardrobe? You’ll find great buys on the high street.
If you can’t always get out to the local shops, use ShopAppy to shop from local businesses online. Simply enter your town, discover what’s available in your area, and then shop local with just a few clicks. It’s just another easy way to support local businesses and shop locally more often.