There are plenty of reasons why we should all be looking to Buy Local, whether for Christmas gifts or our weekly groceries; when choosing a mechanic for your car’s MOT; or if your business needs to get some documents printed. We look at seven of the best reasons for supporting your local, independent businesses by Buying Local:
1. The money you spend will boost the local economy
Research by local authorities has shown that for every £1 spent with an SME (small or medium-sized business), 63p stayed in the local economy. By contrast, only 40p stayed in the local economy when that £1 was spent with a larger business.
2. It’s a more ethical choice
Buying produce which is out-of-season, such as raspberries in December, is bad for the environment. These products have to be flown thousands of miles around the world, which increases their carbon footprint. As does buying products which have been wrapped in layers of plastic to protect them on their journey. When you shop at local grocers, bakers, farm shops and butchers, it is far more likely that the distance your food has had to travel, and the amount of packaging required, will be significantly less.
3. They sell unique products
Small local shops often sell items which are handmade locally and which can’t be found anywhere else – great if you want to find that quirky gift for someone that they won’t be able to find anywhere else.
4. You will have more influence over the products you buy
Smaller shops have a greater turnover of new products and they are more likely to listen to the demands of their customers. If a certain product is selling well then the seller can react to that by quickly producing more of them. Or you can even suggest things that the seller might want to consider stocking, so you can have some influence over the products on sale.
5. Help support communities
Small craft shops, cafes and bookshops often try to bring in more customers by hosting community events, such as book reading groups, social gatherings and children’s events. If these businesses disappear, so do the local groups.
Similarly, markets can provide a place for people to meet whilst browsing the stalls, giving them a community value. They can be well used public spaces as well as retail events.
6. Value for money
A local baker could throw in some free morning rolls for their regular customers and market stall holders are sometimes willing to accept a haggle on prices. They’re also more likely to give discounts on the items you really want to buy, rather than supermarkets trying to tempt you with their multi-buy offers.
7. Free advice
Get to know your local traders and they’ll be able to recommend products to you based on your own specific needs. For example, if you have a particular dietary requirement they may be able to advise you about a variety of products you may be interested in.
So go on, commit to Buy Local from now onwards and help to support our local Edinburgh businesses.