In this time of crisis, thousands of small local businesses have been hugely affected economically from not being able to work. Thankfully, some companies, like ours, have being able to start selling products online to be able to continue supporting our families. Thanks to the support of our wonderful customers we are able to keep going. We thought we would share the main reasons we believe in the importance of supporting local business.
The faces behind the businesses
People running local businesses are your neighbours and are part of the local community. Shopping local means you’re more than likely to meet the owners of these small businesses. Owners are keen to make and build connections with their customers. They are ready to go out of their way to satisfy requests to make people happy. Local companies care about offering quality and don’t just want to take your money. They want to ensure that every customer has a positive experience and leaves with exactly what they expected. When you shop local, you don’t just become another figure on a spreadsheet, it’s a personal & friendly experience!
Protecting the environment
We have already seen results all over the world from the reduction in global travel. We have less pollution meaning cleaner rivers, cleaner oceans and cleaner air.
Reducing our carbon footprint has become an important issue in the last few years. Local businesses buy locally too and this plays a part whilst also give their customers the chance to do the same. Walk down to the local shop rather than driving to a supermarket. Even the actions of just one person have a positive effect!
Health benefits of produce
Local business owners provide transparency for their customers in terms of where their products come from. They know all their owners personally. This way they can ensure that the fruits and vegetables they’re selling are free from chemicals, or that the animals for dairy products are well cared for. The quality of local products is often superior to mass produced products in the supermarkets. Obviously a quick walk into the town centre has its own health benefits too!
Sense of community
Especially in a time like this, people appreciate the fact that the local producers are continuing to work hard. They also value the fact that they put themselves at personal risk of the virus in order to keep supplying. People in all communities are coming together to help, whether it be through delivery services or going shopping for an at-risk neighbour. This moment has really highlighted the sense of community that small local businesses already helped to provide.
Even after this surreal time ends though, many small local businesses will still be vulnerable and at risk of having to close. Supporting them now and in the future could have huge long-term benefits for both the owners and the community itself.
Local trade is important for the local economy
When you shop locally rather than with a large multinational then the money really does stay in the community. If you decide to buy from and support a local business, a higher percentage of what you spend is put back into the local economy than from national chains.
One local shop owner we spoke to told us that the money she earns through sales pays for her children’s dance and sports lessons, all of which are within the local community. She also buys from local farmers to produce her products. Both of these have a positive effect on the local economy.
Local businesses also create new jobs, usually employing other locals. When a business starts to grow, it creates new job openings for local residents which again promotes and supports the local economy.
Small business sell artisan products that you won’t find in the large supermarket chains. They provide originality and variety for consumers. These products are well researched and are of higher quality than mass produced items. This uniqueness also bring life to the community, differentiating it from any other high street.
Ways to support local trade
Small business owners need your help now more than ever. There are so many small but important ways you can help support the local companies in your area in addition to buying directly from them!
Buy a gift or gift card for a loved one and let them know where you got it from. This way, once business is up and running again they can visit the shop directly and hopefully become a returning customer.
Write an online review of the product and of the customer service you received. Nowadays, sadly, many people only leave reviews after a negative experience. Spread some positivity! You’ll be putting a smile an a stressed owner’s face and could help encourage potential customers to buy.
Post photos of your purchases on social media and tag the companies to promote them to your friends and followers. Today the power of social media is second to none, especially now that people are spending even more time online. It’s free and it takes just a matter of seconds to share the love for your favourite small business!
Offer your expertise. Are you a digital marketer or finance expert who has a friend or family member running a small business? Offer some free advice or help them out with their marketing efforts or finance controls. A hour of your time could make a huge difference for them.
All in all, here in Sheffield we feel so lucky to be able to have witnessed our local community pull together and support each other. It really shows that people here care and Sheffield Made is so proud to be a part of it. In a time of such uncertainty for all of us, knowing that so many people want to help means so much.
So thank you! To our wonderful customers who continue to buy from us and recommend us, and to the local producers and who are working with us to provide you with top quality products each week. Together we can all get through this!