5 REASONS TO SUPPORT SMALL LOCAL BUSINESSES

8 Jan 2021 | Student Advice

There are countless benefits to supporting local businesses and there is no better way of making a difference in your immediate community. In our society we are taught that bigger is better, but small businesses prove this to be a false statement. If you want to make greener choices, boost the local economy and help build a community, then it’s worth going local. Here we look at 5 of the best reasons to support small local businesses.

 

1. You know where your money is going

No community can survive without money. Supporting your local businesses, perhaps an indie coffee shop or clothes store, means that your money is going straight into your community. If you choose to online shop, even sharing friends’ posts and pages of their small businesses on social media is supporting their work. The money you spend on a friends’ handmade necklace could be their food for several days. This is so beneficial to your local economy, as your money can help local development in these businesses and beyond.

2. Local business creates jobs

The money you spend on products from a small business helps to pay the wages of those who work there. The more money spent; the more people can be hired! As with the first point, you know exactly where your money is going, as you see it all in front of you. This is an ideal way of combatting chains who perhaps don’t pay their staff accordingly. This growth means the business can develop and gain popularity, driving the appeal of the entire community – which is also beneficial for the local tourism industry. Small businesses are there for everyone, not just the town they reside in, after all.

3. Has a positive impact on the environment

Sustainability doesn’t always mean vegan and anti-single use plastic. Whilst some local businesses may not seem actively sustainable, they tend to have a shorter journey of products to each customer, whether you buy in-store or online. Handmade and local products such as art or organic meat are equally sustainable as the production is nearby and therefore more ethical.

4. Offers originality and personality

There is no denying that seeing the same fashion trends in each chain shop can become mundane and repetitive. Small businesses are ideal for standing out and having fun, because their products are made with personality in mind. They are a reflection of the area or community and help to start trends even in the tiniest of communities. This authenticity should never be frowned upon. Also, you are often in direct contact of the people who made such products, so you can understand the hard work that’s gone into it. This can provide an intimate and special story for whatever you buy. “Do you like my scarf? I got it from the local knitting shop, the lady who made it was showing me pictures of her new grandson, he was adorable!”.

5. Make a positive change

Going on from the knitted-scarf-by-lovely-lady scenario, shopping from local businesses is vital in making an active change in your community. Kindness is an asset that helps businesses grow, because it’s all about understanding what the consumer wants and what the seller can offer. These conversations can make somebody’s day and are so beneficial to the wider community who want to get involved.

Supporting local and small businesses is vital to any community all year round. Participating in our communities is vital for improving wellbeing and mental health. Shopping locally encourages socialising and participating in a community, helping us feel connected with one another. Not only are you shopping ethically and locally, but these actions can provide jobs, financial security, economic growth, sustainability and foster kindness.

By Imogen Kilner

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