Four reasons why shopping locally is a guaranteed way to a better society
What if, instead of a mind-numbing shopping experience, between massive aisles, under cold lighting, you could shop for your daily essentials from the comfort of your own home? And all the while support independent and local shops?
Local shops are core to maintaining and building our communities. Think of your local bakery, butcher, or greengrocer. They are all run by local entrepreneurs who have chased their dreams of creating livelihood out of their passion, hobby, or interest.
By choosing local, you support not only the entrepreneurs but help build a more resilient, equal food and business system in your community. If you think this sounds great, read on and you get this claim supported by four facts.
1. Support the local economy.
By shopping local, the money stays local. In essence, the more you shop in mainstream, big supermarkets, the more money bleeds out of the local economy. If you choose your local corner shop instead of Asda, you’re keeping the money circulating in your local community.
Spending £10 in a local food outlet is actually worth £25 to the local economy, as it is spent locally several times more. By comparison, every £10 spent in a supermarket leads to only £2.40 being spent in the local area.
You can imagine the local economy as a bucket, with money being the substance in it. The more money flows in, the fuller (the better) the bucket. Money flowing out of the local economy is a leak.
Keeping the bucket full is essential for a thriving local economy. Products bought from a local retailer are worth almost 10 times as much to the local economy as products from a long distant producer, purchased in a supermarket.
2. Respect the environment.
Long supply chains or, in other words, transporting goods from far away from transport hubs, has a huge environmental impact. Many of our essential products can be produced locally: food by local farms, household essentials by local producers, and more by makers and creators.
In 2016, over half of the UK’s food was imported. By choosing local shops, you can reduce the food waste that is produced in your community by businesses, as local shops are more capable of responding to demand than large supermarkets.
3. Help to build an accessible community
By supporting local shops, you build a network of connections in your surroundings. You get to know the people behind the businesses, what drives their business, and how their products are superior to others. Every bakery has their own signature product, as much as every greengrocer stocks different fruits and vegetables. All of these can be delivered to your doorstep, without you needing to travel to different small shops, or check their opening times suit you. By shopping at your local shops online, you save time and always have access to all of the shops, even if you live a busy life!
4. Have an influence beyond consumerism.
By shopping locally, you support many individuals that are relying on their small business as their livelihood. The year 2020 brought our attention to this fact, and it is essential that local businesses can keep on running. By buying your household essentials locally you can form a relationship with the business owners, workers, and other people from your neighbourhood, supporting them in their journey to achieve their professional and personal dreams. You can choose shops that share your values, and do good for your local community. And they care about what you need and want — not only what you buy.