When it comes to leading hectic lives, the families of Fleet will be right up there. A natural consequence of being ‘on the go’ all the time is to seek out convenience wherever possible.
There is no better example of this than the out of town supermarket or going to a larger town instead for a 'shopping experience'. But the residents of Hart know that one of the reasons why this area is such a desirable place to live is because of the quality of our communities - and independent shops are a key part of that. So while the summer holidays are in full swing, and August is quieter, take some time to consider spending a pound or two in a local shop. You might be surprised to learn just how beneficial it might be. The following comes from a report in The Guardian from last year.
1) Your spending will boost the local economy. For every £1 spend with a small or medium sized business, 63p stays in the local economy, compared to only 40p with a large business. If every person in Fleet and Hartley Wintney spent an extra £1 a week in local shops this would bring an additional £1.9m into the town.
2) Thriving high streets populated with successful independent businesses have a positive effect on surrounding residential property prices.
3) When you shop locally, it is more likely what you buy has been sourced locally. Take a butcher for example. The ‘field to fork’ journey is short. You benefit local farmers and boost your eco-credentials as you are not buying produce flown in from half way around the world.
4) Local shops tend to stock in smaller volumes. When it comes to gifts for example, finding something quirky and original shows you have really thought about the person - and this might just be available on your doorstep.
5) Independents often drum up custom by hosting events eg book groups, children’s events. If these businesses are not supported, the groups disappear and the community is poorer as a result.
6) A local baker throws in an extra bagel for a good customer, a grocer rounds down the price of the tomatoes – little things can go a very long way. Do supermarkets do that?
7) You can buy in bulk at supermarkets, but that’s no good if you don’t like what you’ve bought. Many independent’s will let you try before you buy. Your satisfaction is key as it informs whether you will buy from them again.
I suspect that convenience will always be king but if we can all be conscious of supporting local businesses too our community will be far stronger for it. There are many great, local, independent retailers run by people passionate about their business and the local community - take a look and you might just be surprised by what you find.
Member since: 12th April 2014
A passionate Fleet resident committed to all things local.