THE EUROWEEKLY NEWS is urging its readers to support local businesses in the community by going local through the lockdown and for your Christmas shopping this year, instead of feeding online giants and superstores.
This lockdown and festive period we challenge you to rediscover your local high streets, markets, butchers, greengrocers and all of the wonderfully quirky independent businesses in your area.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have to support many local businesses by ordering online and making use of any click and collect services they can operate if you are unable to get out due to health reasons or lockdown restrictions.
Although it may be a euro or two cheaper elsewhere or online, consider where your money is actually going. By shopping at an independent store you’re putting food on a local family’s table, and there is no better time than Christmas to give back to your community by making a small gesture and shopping in this way.
Many local stores support local charities, support and sponsor local sports teams and in many cases, the small independent stores are actually much more than just a small high street shop, they’re a family’s legacy, often passed down through numerous generations and support not just the current owner but the generation before.
For those stores which are new, that extra couple of euro’s spent there are supporting someone’s dream and ambition, and also the courage it took them to step out alone, which is no easy task. It takes quite a large chunk of money to set up an independent store and compete with the multi-national and chains.
So be sure to pre-order your Turkey from a local butcher and get your spuds from a local greengrocer, let us revive that community spirit and get to know our neighbours again.
You could also consider purchasing gift vouchers from local businesses to help them over the coming weeks, thinking outside the box can often lead to some fantastic ideas. Why not buy a meal for two, an hours tattoo time at a local studio, a hair cut at a local salon or an online study course for someone looking to change their career path.
As people are struggling with finances thinking about what friends and family may actually need is important too. Whilst it’s nice to give a glamourous gift perhaps pre-paying a family members phone bill for the month would actually be a better gift. Helping people alleviate stress and worry, give the gift of peace of mind through these difficult times.
Choosing to spend your money locally will really make a difference in the recovery of the local economy. When we buy local, our money stays local, and it strengthens the local economy in two ways. First, buying local keeps money circulating within the local economy. Studies have shown that local businesses recirculate a greater share of every euro as they create locally owned supply chains and invest in their employees.
Data shows that local retailers return 52 per cent of their revenue back into the local economy, compared to just 14 per cent for national chain retailers.
Money circulating through the local economy benefits everyone who is a part of each transaction. For example, let’s look at a local farmer growing produce.
First, they sell to a local restaurant, which in turn prepares the fresh produce and sells it to local customers. The farmer pays its local employees and the restaurant uses revenue from sales to buy supplies from a neighbourhood hardware store. This example illustrates how the recirculation of money in the local economy leads to a stronger financial foundation for our neighbours and communities.
Buying local also fuels new employment and job opportunities for people within our community. Studies show, locally owned businesses employ more people per unit of sales and retain more employees overtime.
While buying local is financially compelling to our communities; the benefits to our environment are equally impressive. Buying locally reduces the processing of goods, packaging and transportation waste, which leads to less pollution.
There’s a massive cultural shift underway redefining the way people make buying decisions. We’re seeing more individuals concerned about the environment, about how products are made and sourced, where materials come from, and a company’s overall social and environmental impact.
Many businesses are joining our Go Local campaign by offering customers special offers and discounts throughout the festive period, more details to follow here soon.
Just remember to follow the latest government advice and any guidance businesses have to keep everyone safe.