Shopping locally is like eating your two fruit and five veg. You know you should do it, you know it’s the right thing to do, but sometimes you get lazy and skip it.
The thing is, just like skipping a healthy meal and choosing greasy takeaway, not shopping locally actually has its own effects too.
Like the fact that small businesses not only created but retained more jobs than larger firms did in times of high unemployment (thanks for that study, Yale!). They also generated 70% more local activity per square foot compared to the big guys. Surprised? Not all of us are.
How shopping locally benefits you
“Shopping locally gives returns,” says Craig Stack, Managing Director for Knight Frank and mastermind behind Townsville’s Shop Local Campaign.
“When you do that, there’s a strong chance for that money you’ve put in to the community to stay and it allows the cycle to keep running. The more we can enlarge that cycle and get cash flow through the community and keep it going, the better it is for everyone,” he says.
It’s not just the monetary value either. Craig notes that local businesses are “more likely to encourage participation from our ageing workforce” as well as sponsor or participate in local events and initiatives.
“From the butcher providing the meat trays to the sports club through to the full sponsorship and support our larger local businesses give to schools and community networks. There are so many good people who operate local enterprises and are passionate about the impact they have on the wider community and I think their story needs to be recognised,” he says.
“When you’re in a city, particularly a regional one, there are benefits to collaborating and pushing each other,” Craig says. “By doing this, you get the message out to the community that it’s worthwhile supporting some really good talented people. You progress those businesses that are really driving and presenting a good story and you allow the customer base to relate to those businesses and see what they’re about.”
Campaigns like this also highlight the importance of “paying it forward” and giving back to businesses who support our community. So as a side note, if you’re going to buy those two fruit and five veg – why not go local?