Last weekend was Small Business Saturday, which saw many small, local companies celebrating their successes and promoting the event to raise awareness of small businesses in the local area and beyond.
I think the #SmallBusinessSaturday initiative is an effective way to raise awareness of the challenges facing many people in today’s economy. On Friday, I had the privilege of speaking in front of many local business owners and employees, and I heard from others about their own entrepreneurial journeys, which is always inspirational and interesting.
I also spent far too much money on some beautiful things (a few are gifts so I can’t post any photos of those!) from two local businesses: Willow & Hen and Got2Jot. I urge you to support small, local businesses this festive period because your sale could make all the difference.
There are so many rewarding reasons to shop at small businesses. I’ve listed a few below:
Owners and employees of small businesses are personally invested in the products and services they have to offer. Therefore, they’re far more likely to go the extra mile for their customers – they’ll be over the moon to tell you about their products’ backstories, information about suppliers or the service they’re giving you, and will love to chat with you about their business and personal background. They’re likely to have great product expertise and information and will often be more than happy to personalise what they sell, order in bespoke or customised products from their suppliers, or will tailor services to suit their valued customers.
Huge corporations and multinationals often import products (and services) from overseas. This means products have been transported and shipped long distances, and may, therefore, have a significant carbon footprint. Local businesses are likely to source from local suppliers and will make local purchases, which adds to the community ethic, with everyone supporting each other in the same area.
Small businesses make up a huge part of the local economy, with small or medium-sized businesses making up 60% of all private sector employment in the UK. It’s been found that approximately 63p of every pound spent in small businesses stays within the local economy, which is compared to just 40p of every pound for larger corporations and multinationals. Further research has recently shown that house prices near a prosperous town centre (with small, reliable businesses and shops) have risen by an average of approximately £40,000 more over the past ten years when compared with other properties. It’s clear that, by spending your earnings at small businesses, you can have a much more significant, direct impact on everything else in your local area, including more local jobs.
It’s a known fact that small, local businesses are treasure troves, packed with exciting, unique products and high-quality services. You can buy unusual, different Christmas presents that you’re almost guaranteed no one else will be gifting this festive season. You can visit small businesses again and again, and you’ll always find something new, different or unusual to buy because, unlike big chains and department stores, small shops and businesses will change their products regularly to keep customers engaged and coming back for more! What’s more, you’ll be purchasing something for a fair price, which has been sourced by like-minded, local business owners.
So don’t wait until another #SmallBusinessSaturday event to shop local. Take some time out of your busy schedule to walk around your local area, visit some small businesses, and enjoy the local produce and high-quality services that they offer!