Local Shopping Benefits
You can help build communities
Bookshops, cafes and craft shops often drum up custom by hosting events, from book groups to knitting clubs and children’s events. If the businesses are not supported, the local groups tend to disappear too.
Your spending will boost the local economy
Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business.
High streets populated with thriving independent businesses boost the prices of nearby homes, according to a recent study.
The research by American Express found that house prices near a prosperous town center have risen by an average of £40,000 more over the past decade than other properties.
It is the ethical choice
Buying out-of-season produce, like strawberries in December, lowers your eco-credentials. As does eating turkey and carrots that have been flown halfway round the world or wrapped in layers of plastic. When you shop at local butchers, bakers, farm shops and green grocers, it is likely that a decent percentage of the produce has had a short field-to-fork journey. Along with supporting local farmers, it means the food is likely to contain more nutrients and have less packaging.
You might get a better deal or some good advice
Local bakers throw in extra bagels for regulars; grocers give informal 10% discounts; and market stall holders are prepared to negotiate on prices. Independent retailers can use their discretion to reward regular custom, and it can mean you get discounts on the items you actually want to buy, rather than being tempted by multi-buy offers in the big chains.
If you get to know your independent trader they should be able to recommend products to you, says Michelle Ovens, national campaign manager for Small Business Saturday.
“For example, if you have a particular dietary requirement they can be great at telling you all about products you may wish to buy.”
You can reduce heavily laid service taxes
Shopping locally reduces the option levying the heavy service tax on the products we buy.
You can sometimes try before you buy
Major retailers have the advantage of economies of scale and can afford to slash prices and offer reduced costs.
However, it’s easy to waste money on products you end up not actually liking.
You can hardly crack open a bottle of fizz in a supermarket aisle and do a quick taste test, or check if an apple is crunchy by taking a big bite.
Neither can you do this online. At independent retailers, however, it’s easier to ask to sample a product.
They sell quirky, one-off gifts
Independent shops often stock items which are made locally and aren’t available elsewhere: buy a dress by a fledgling designer and there is little chance of turning up to the office party wearing the same as someone else.
When it comes to gifts, quirky one-off items are a major plus of independent shops.
Give your niece or nephew a handmade toy and at least it won’t be identical to everything they already have.
When you shop with local merchants, more of your money stays close to home; supporting the local business and merchants that make this community a great place to live.
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Source: The guardian.com and Pinterest