The ‘Shop Small’ Movement In Your Local Area

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In a post-COVID-19 economy, all retailers and businesses are fighting for customers’ attention – and money more than ever. Simultaneously, consumers are likely to be much more tight fisted with their money, reluctant to spend, especially now that it’s been made so clear that we cannot predict when we might need a financial cushion for a rainy day. 

It’s unrealistic to expect to boycott spending altogether, even if the pandemic has made you much more financially conscious. However, the evidence shows that small purchases, from the local cafe you stop off at on the way to work, to buying presents to give to loved ones from British gift shops or the  hair dressers you use, can have a huge impact on re-invigorating the economy and your local community. This is why (and how) you need to get involved in the shop small movement to support your local area. 

Economic Rehabilitation

As we’re battling the potential of a second wave of Coronavirus whilst navigating how to pick up the economy, every individual’s spending decisions could breathe life back into the UK and back into Yorkshire as retailers and non-essential businesses begin to reopen their doors. 

Research shows that for every £10 spent with a local or independent business in your area, £50 goes back into the surrounding community. This is through staff and teams circulating the money around other local businesses. 

Research updated in February 2020 shows that SMEs contribute to over 51% of all business turnover in the UK. This highlights that their success, growth and survival during this time will have a huge impact on the national economy. 

Creating Jobs In Your Area

Although you may be reluctant to spend money if you’ve been furloughed or your income has been impacted throughout the course of this year, but next time you make a purchase, remember that SMEs employ 60% of the workforce in the UK. 

Spending money in a locally owned business (or online – don’t forget that you can still support your businesses remotely), has the potential to create new opportunities for those in similar positions to you and fuel long-term economic upturn for your area. 

The Environmental Impact of Shopping Small

Small companies are more likely to utilise other SMEs to provide the support and goods they need. This means they are more likely to perpetuate business spending, but perhaps more importantly, this helps to cut down on the transportation and fuel used to source goods. 

Buying from local independent businesses promotes sustainability and increases the life-time of your goods as well because they’re likely to be an investment in quality. 

Show Your Support on Social Media

During the thick of the lockdown in the UK, a trend emerged on social media that encouraged a user to share their top 5 local businesses in their stories. This allowed people to really rally behind their local businesses, favourite indie retailers and companies they supported. However, as we begin to ease out of the lockdown regulations, it’s important to keep sharing this information, tagging companies and locations to ensure new users can find this information.

Don’t Forget…

We’ve mentioned it a couple of times throughout this article, but you don’t have to go out into the town centre to shop locally. Businesses in the UK have shown incredible innovation and resilience during this time and there are plenty of ways you can continue to support them without leaving your home:

  • Buying online – rather than shopping on Amazon, look around to see if a shop nearby could provide what you’re looking for. It’s still likely to come the next day. Moreover, if you’re looking for something a little bit niche, investigate independently owned eCommerce websites that support British brands and put money back into the local economy. 
  • Buy gift certificates for your favourite restaurant or hairdressers to help service businesses maintain their cash flow and show them that you will be back to see them as soon as you’re comfortable doing so. 
  • Leave online reviews – similar to the social media support, leaving a kind comment on Google My Business, Trust Pilot, Trip Advisor or any other platform could do wonders for new customers finding and supporting local businesses 
  • Get involved in loyalty schemes – Small businesses offer discounts and free coffees, too! Just ask next time you visit – this will give you an incentive to make shopping locally a habit. 
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