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Shop Local - What's in it for you?

A vibrant local community is built around reliable services, shops and places to eat, drink and socialise. More than ever, local businesses can offer so much more than the products that they sell and the services they offer. Whilst some aspects may have changed and will take a while to return to normal, the need to shop local and support such a valuable part of our lives comes with lots of benefits for you and your community. Here are a few of the reasons why you should shop local.

 

1. Give a boost to your local economy

Shop local and you can see where your money is going - supporting jobs in the area and providing investment in the local economy, where your contributions, however small, make a significant difference. If you invest and spend locally, those same business owners spend in the local community, contributing to taxes which in turn brings further benefits for your area. Totallylocally.org stated “based on the New Economics Foundation data, if you spend £10 in a local shop it is worth up to £50 into the local economy.”

 

2. Feel the quality, value the expertise

We’ve all been there: you order something online and when it arrives, it isn’t quite what you expected. Shop local and not only can you see what you’re purchasing but you can also build a relationship with a local trader, many of whom can offer expertise and understanding to offer the best service and product. Perhaps a new recipe from your local butcher, a new style tip from your hairdresser or a better product that you hadn’t considered from your local hardware store. Or maybe it’s something quirky and unique, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t find an exact replica online.

 

3. It’s like socialising for the first time

As restrictions eased over the summer and we started to venture out again, can you remember that odd feeling that came with doing things for the first time again? Now think about those in our society who are digitally excluded or who don’t get out often. Local shops, pubs and community spaces can be daunting for some,  and so smiling and saying hi to someone might just make their day! No matter how convenient shopping online may be, it will never match to venturing out for the day and catching up with familiar smiling faces, swapping stories and having face-to-face human contact.

 

4. It’s all about the environment

Have you ever thought about where your products come from? A local supplier? Shipped in from another continent perhaps? How about all that packaging that is used and the resource that goes into it? Local businesses often use local supply chains, which benefits the economy and saves waste. Also, you do your part by carrying your bag for life and ditching all that cardboard packaging that soon clutters up your bin!

 

5. Be pleasantly surprised by the cost

Local doesn’t mean expensive - there are bargains to be had and you can shop around for some incredible deals. Think about all the things you’ve bought on impulse, or ordered in the wrong size that you never get around to sending back –  we’ve all done it! Not only can you avoid these mistakes if you do shop local and are an eagle-eyed bargain hunter, but you can also find BOGOF offers, big percentages off marked prices, and not to mention the free samples that we all love so much!

 

6. It’s all about the experience even during a pandemic!

We lead busy lives and we often say we need convenience, but with Covid-19 restricting a lot of our normal activities such as commuting to work and attending social events, we may find we’ve got more free time than we realise. Small businesses have worked hard to put in place measures to be Covid-safe, and shopping local can still be a pleasant and rewarding experience during these challenging times. Local markets and small town or village centres provide all the things you need, along with open spaces, fresh air, friendly staff and a safe environment. If you’d rather stay indoors, lots of local businesses will now deliver direct to your door.

 

As part of our Proud to Support Local Business campaign, we’re asking people who shop local and are proud to do so, to tell their local businesses within Greater Manchester about the support that’s available from EnterprisingYou so they can benefit from the support available. Some of the benefits include fully-funded training and development, support from our dedicated Business Coach, Health & Wellbeing and Finance Specialists as well as Business Mentors – all at no cost (eligibility criteria apply). Also, not to mention that warm, fuzzy feeling you’ll get from knowing that you have supported your local community. 👍

EnterprisingYou is aimed at supporting self-employed local businesses across Greater Manchester. If you would like to find out more about our programme, call us on 0161 667 6900 or email info@enterprising-you.co.uk. Remember to like and share our social media pages. @EnterprisingYou

About the author

Phil Starr

Phil Starr

Business Coach at The Growth Company

Phil has a strong financial background having previously established and ran his own financial services company for over 10 years and managing social finance organisations. His experience helps businesses to identify new markets and sales opportunities, driving business growth from a blank sheet and identifying who may be key drivers in new/existing markets.