Some good reasons to Shop Locally:
1. Local shops sell a wide range of great products at affordable prices. People who haven't shopped locally for some time are often surprised by the range of keenly priced products and gifts that are available.
2. Shopping local saves you money. Out of town shops have done a good job of convincing us all that sole traders are expensive, but the evidence just isn’t there to back this up . If you add in travel, parking costs, fees to transport larger items home and your time, the overall cost is often much higher.
3. Shopping locally retains our communities. People don’t like losing shops and services in small towns and villages but they often don’t equate this to where they spend their money. Shops can only survive if customers spend locally so if you want a vibrant town centre, where people can socialise as well as shop: shop locally.
4. Shopping locally retains our distinctiveness. Thanks to the proliferation of franchises and multi-nationals, many town centres in Britain now look the same. Independent shops create distinctive shopping experiences and stock a wider variety of products. Independent shops also keep traditional local products alive and respond more quickly to the changing needs of their customers. They can also be more innovative: organic products, for example, were first stocked by independent traders.
5. Shopping local saves the environment. We are all becoming more aware of CO2 emissions and our impact on the environment. Local shops, which often stock a high percentage of local sourced goods do not require long car or bus journeys to get to, helping to reduce our Carbon Footprint.
6. Shopping local creates jobs. Shops in our town centres and villages create local employment and self-employment. These people in turn spend in the local economy. Over half a million people are employed in retail in our rural towns and villages. Evidence shows that for every £10 spent in an independent shop £25 is generated for the local economy compared to £14 spent in multinationals.
7. Local independent shops invest more in our communities. Sole traders and independent stores are proportionally more generous in their support for local charities, carnivals, schools and community events. So, supporting local shops results in financial benefit for our community.
8. Local shops are for everyone. Most people can get to their local shops easily and this is especially important for elderly, vulnerable and young people and those without transport. Supporting local traders by buying locally helps the entire community.
9. Local shops value you more. Evidence from numerous surveys shows people receive better customer care and service in local shops. Traders survive by their reputation and repeat business so shopping locally means that you get a higher standard of service.
10. Shopping local saves services. Private, voluntary and public sector services tend to cluster around shops. The loss of the high street often corresponds to a reduction in these services. As shops disappear, so do hairdressers, vets, dentists etc.
The message is clear: shop smart, shop local!