As I am sure you’ll be aware, I’m a massive fan of all things local and I am passionate about supporting our local communities, charities and businesses.
It’s local communities like ours that have history and traditions that attract 31 million visitors to the UK every year – that’s as many as half of our entire population! (Compare that with Spain’s 45 million visitors – a country two and a half times the size with infinitely better weather!)
However everything evolves and changes and there is no doubt that many High Streets are in decline, overpopulated by payday lenders and betting shops. Thank goodness that hasn’t happened in our area, but one thing is for sure, our town and village centres need to be about more than just shops if they are to survive long into the next decade.
Originally our village greens, town squares and high streets formed the centre of where we lived. Before the days of 24x7 social media they were where we connected with other people and found out what was going on in our town, as well as buying our groceries. It was the noise of market traders, the bustle of other shoppers, the wave from a shopkeeper you knew as you walked past, the smells… it was about the experience!
That experience doesn’t have to be consigned to history – we just have to drag it into the 21st century, however much it kicks and screams! Recent news has shown that we can’t fight the soulless supermarket sheds in the planning department, but that doesn’t mean we can’t band together to reflect the values and history our local communities stand for and support our local heroes. I can honestly say that I haven’t bought a thing from any of the big four supermarkets since 2010. It might feel like you can’t do much, as one individual, but I believe that ‘every little helps’, as one of them likes to tell us!
I appreciate that that stance will not be possible for everybody but, whether you’re a business or a local consumer – or indeed both – there ARE things you CAN do, and which the Harborough area is very good at.
Support your local community projects, buy from great local suppliers, support local charities, remind other people about why this area is so great, effect changes that will make it even better! Whether it's joining a local campaigning group or even just adding a couple of hanging baskets to your frontage to make your area look more appealing, all the little things add up to something much bigger.
Supporting our ‘Buy Local’ campaign – highlighted during the week of June 3rd to 9th - and encouraging others to do the same is a great way to raise awareness of our great local businesses and the benefits to all of the local community of choosing to use them.
Every pound that is spent locally is reinvested in the area up to ten times over! And local products are easily traceable too - I’ve yet to meet a local farmer or butcher who doesn’t know the difference between horses and cattle! This is our opportunity to join together to support our local communities – let’s grasp it with both hands!
Over the next few weeks, Simon and I will be making it our mission to gather as much support as possible for our Buy Local campaign, raising the profile of our shops and businesses and showing everyone what a great area of the country this is! However, we can’t do it all by ourselves - we need you to join in – so let’s make a party of it!
If you’d like to support the campaign by displaying a ‘Buy Local’ sticker in your business then please get in touch. Or if you know of a great local business that everyone else in the area should be using, then tell us about them here
together we can make a difference
Member since: 10th July 2012
Shy retiring (!) red-head from south Leics working hard to showcase everything great about our towns and villages. Loves her son, her man & Bruce Springsteen!