There are so many benefits of buying from small businesses, for both you and the business owner. Especially with Christmas being just around the corner, the best time to start.
It's great to shop local for many different reasons, some you would have never even imagined...
To start, you probably never knew that shopping at a local business, as opposed to a large chain, is better for the economy of your community. It's true! Research shows that £10 spent with a local independent shop means up to an additional £50 goes back into the local economy. This is simply because the nearby shop owners, who you are spending with, will then put that money back into your local community by going into local pubs and restaurants etc, circulating the money and allowing your community to thrive.
You'll also get the best customer service catered to YOU in particular, which makes any buyer happy and more likely to revisit. Re-visiting would mean you building a relationship with the shop owner and they'll start to learn more about you, and what you buy. It is also worth remembering that local shops choose stock based on their own customer’s choices, rather than national trends. So you can easily find what you want rather than finding what they want to sell you.
The fantastic thing about independent businesses is that they are run by people, not by boards and stockholders. When a business is ran locally, you will usually find that the it is in keeping with the aesthetic of the area. Upon visiting you feel the touch of a warm, welcoming personality. The items inside the store will more than likely have their own unique feel too, which helps to shape the identity of the area.
Shopping small means you're supporting your local community in so many ways, but the most fulfilling way is the fact that you could be helping charity. Many local businesses support local charities that are particularly relevant to that area, and by purchasing you are helping to increase the number of local donations. Of course, large chain companies do support charities, and there is no right or wrong one to support, but if you would prefer to help support a local one then buying locally is a great way of doing this.
I came across this quote, which says:
"When you support a small business, you're supporting a dream."
I love that idea. It could be simply choosing to buy something locally which you'd normally order online, seeing something different and unique in the shop window and buying, or hearing a friend recommend a new small business that has only just started up.
Around 71% of small businesses have a website.
A huge platform for small businesses is websites like Etsy, Shopify and, a personal favourite of mine, Not on the High Street. There's so many unique products for you to find, including personalised products to add that extra special touch.
Anything you can do to support a small business is guaranteed to make their day! Even if you don't buy, you can repost their page on Instagram, 'Like' their page on Facebook, share their platform around, or even pop into store to show some support. Especially around this time of the year, the holiday season. Spread that festive cheer!
A little goes a very long way.