The days of corporate companies dominating our market are slowly but surely coming to an end. We are now in a place where small to medium independent companies are giving these chains a run for their money. Whether it be coffee shops, restaurants, retailers, market stalls, bakeries or bars, in the UK alone there has been a revolt by the people to try and do over these big chains by encouraging shopping Locally.
What does it mean to shop local? Why does it benefit us? Why does it benefit us as consumers? Why should we do it?
Shopping locally means a few things:
1. Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stays in the local economy, compared to just 40p with a larger business.
2. This means that it boosts the local economy as the money feeds directly back into the community, rather than a faceless business based abroad.
3. It creates more local jobs i.e. decreases unemployment. In the long run this is better for the local economy as well as the well-being of the general population. Local employers are more likely inclined to pay a higher average wage than their commercial chains.
4. Shopping locally often results in a better overall experience. In our experience at Love Local Collective, the service at a #LoveLocalLegend (i.e. a local independent) is unrivalled from that at a rival chain.
Those that work for a local indy truly love what they do. They inject passion, care and authenticity into the service that they are providing.
In our own experience, we've found that many local independents offer a rewards scheme for returning customers. This means they can build a rapport with the customer, thus encouraging return custom and sales. Owners of independent companies are more likely to recommend another independent place as they feel inclined to spread the #LoveLocal love.
Wendi, an avid local and independent shopper, said "Because I can see where my money is going - to local people and supporting their business - you build a relationship with the staff too... and that can lead to better service. Big chains can feel soulless!"
Support Independent companies as much as you can. The time is now...
Written by: Jakob Surtees-Smith, 2018