A thriving local community benefits local businesses, local residents, local consumers, visitors, the local economy, the environment and our health. When we support local businesses we are contributing to our community’s prosperity and wellbeing. If, on the other hand, we do the bulk of our buying from the Big Chains, then many of these community benefits will be minimised or lost. It is, therefore, vitally important for us to buy local to support local.
3 Major Benefits of ‘Buying Local’
- Improved Customer Service
- Local business owners recognise the importance of both acquiring and retaining customers. If customers aren’t satisfied, they won’t buy and they won’t return – simple. Unlike the big chains where one person’s dissatisfaction is hardly noticed, to the local business owner, each and every disgruntled customer matters. Providing superior customer service is therefore crucial to the reputation of local businesses, so owners will go out of their way to provide this. Understanding local customers’ needs, local business owners are also more likely to tailor their services to suit – something big chains just don’t have the time to do. Nurturing customer relationships is essential to the survival and growth of local businesses, so customers are in a win-win situation.
- Money Is Re-circulated Into the Local Economy
- Whereas big chains take more of their revenue out of the local economy, (typically sending it to their headquarters overseas) local business owners keep more of theirs in. As a result, local communities reap the benefits. Local taxes help to provide schools, libraries, amenities and other public services. Local businesses are more likely to source goods and supplies from local suppliers and manufacturers, and to buy from other local businesses. They also tend to employ local workers who in turn become local consumers. Money is therefore kept in the community enriching the lives of those living there. Thriving communities attract more visitors; who spend locally; and so the cycle of re-investment and spending goes on.
- Positively Affects Environment and Health
- Big chains source goods and supplies from far and wide. This means mass transportation and high fuel consumption which leads to higher degrees of air pollution. It is widely recognised that air pollution adversely affects our health and wellbeing. It is also detrimental to our ecological systems and to our local wildlife population. Since local business owners buy local, and tend to stay locally, there is less transport and travel which leads to a welcome reduction in fuel consumption, which is better for our health and for our environment.
As our local communities thrive, so do the people. Buying local can make this happen. Vibrant communities mean that people take greater pride in their surroundings; their services, their amenities, etc. They are also more likely to volunteer in community projects and support local charities. The contribution local businesses make to local communities, its people and the environment is immense, and our support is vital to ensure our communities prosper.