By choosing local independent small businesses when you go shopping, dining or for example hiring a vehicle, you are helping boost local economy, support local families, build local communities and enjoy a bit more personal customer service after all.
And although there is no denying that the internet makes it far easier to shop online, some retailers claim that the high street is gaining strength while offering locally sourced groceries, gifts and other services back to locals who very much appreciate it.
Here’s our take on why to shop, eat and hire locally from small businesses and entrepreneurs in North London, based on our experience of being a local small family-run van hire London company.
1. You will be supporting North London’s local entrepreneurs
Local markets and service providers support other local small businesses and help them establish their presence. If you shop locally you allow local entrepreneurs to exist, reconnect with the local economy and grow.
Furthermore by buying from your neighbour, so to speak, you are supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, designers, artists and retailers who would have no chance in the market otherwise competing with international brands.
2. You will get a better deal or nice discount
Going local is not only you being supportive towards the local entrepreneurs and small business, it often gets you a better deal or nice discount as reward.
Local bakers for example often throw in extra doughnut or two for regulars. Grocers offer discounts and market stall holders, such as those in Camden Market, are prepared to negotiate on prices. Local van hire companies, such as ourselves, offer long term hire discount that can significantly reduce your costs.
3. You will help build local communities
In order to drum up some extra business, bookshops, coffee shops and craft shops for instance, often host tailored events and meetups. This brings people together and builds community. If the businesses are not supported, the local groups tend to disappear too.
Markets also often give space to community groups, nonprofit organisations and social enterprises which ultimately further enhances community value.
And then there is food. Local food builds community. When you buy direct from a market farmer, you are engaging in a long-lasting connection between two locals. Between a customer and a grower. No middle men involved.
Local farmers often give you insight into the seasons, the land, and your food which ultimately gives you chance to access a place where your children or perhaps even grandchildren can go to learn about nature and agriculture.
4. Your spending will boost the local economy
Some research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a local small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business. That is 37 percent lower with a larger business as opposed to the smaller one.
In fact, high streets populated with thriving independent businesses boost the prices of nearby homes, according to a recent study. The research by a major financial institution found that house prices near a prosperous town centre have risen significantly more over the past decade than other properties.
Local food keeps taxes down. According to several studies, farms contribute more in taxes to the economy than they require in services. Whereas most development contributes less in taxes than the cost of required services.
5. You will be making ethical choice
Buying local seasonal produce contributes positively to your ecological footprint. Which does not apply to eating steaks 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 grocers, it is likely that a decent percentage of the produce has had a short production journey. Along with supporting local farmers, it means the food is likely to contain more nutrients and have less packaging.