There hasn’t been much joy that has come out of this Covid lockdown period, but if anything, it has highlighted the importance of the “small man” within our economy. Everywhere you look, particularly on social media, people are imploring others to ditch the reliance on large chains for goods and services – many of which source their goods from overseas - and instead support all things local. And I’m all for it!
With the world shifting towards a more digital way of life, it’s never been easier to get your hands on locally manufactured products, and getting them delivered to your door is a bonus!
Here are a couple of reasons why you should be supporting local businesses:1. Local Character and Uniqueness
If you have ever travelled overseas and browsed in an international clothing store, you may be disappointed in what they have to offer. It’s no different to what we can buy here in South Africa. This is because the world is becoming more homogenized with nothing truly unique to offer. Try looking at some locally manufactured clothing brands – they have a distinctive character and are not mass produced, leaving you feeling like you are wearing something completely original, which you are! Vanity aside, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses have an economic advantage.2. Community Well-Being
Have you ever noticed when visiting a local farmer’s market, that everybody just seems to know everybody else? This is no coincidence! Locally owned businesses have a reputation of building strong communities by sustaining quaint town centers which would otherwise crumble, and creating relationships between community members and their neighbours. Local businesses are also known to support local causes.3. Keeping Rand's in the Local Economy
Locally owned business tends to put a larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, thus uplifting local communities.4. Jobs and Wages
I know you know this, but this is a reminder that local businesses tend to hire local people. What you may not know is that in some industries, local businesses are able to provide employees with higher wages than the large chain stores.5. Competition
Having many small businesses over a few large chains is sure to spark innovation and drive down prices in the long-term.6. Product Diversity
Small local businesses sell products and services that they have an interest in, and is a need within the community. Products are not based on a national sales plan. This means that customers have a larger range of products to choose from.7. Environmental Sustainability
Why would you want to buy strawberries shipped into the country from overseas when you can simply pop into your local greengrocer or farmer’s market? Chances are, the local strawberries will be packaged in a lot less plastic, leaving you with less waste to deal with and you’re supporting local farms and their employees. Always think about your own personal ecological footprint when making purchases.
Remember, think local, buy local, support local. You will be helping to uplift your community whilst reducing your own footprint on the Earth.