Choosing to buy from a UK Family Business instead of a large multi-national has many benefits, but what do they mean for you? Here we have a look (in no particular order) at some of the benefits.
Unique Character & Personality
One of the many fantastic things about independent businesses is that they are run by people, not by boards, stockholders and defintely not by an algorithm. They are run by local people who have an empathy with the local community & character of the area - they are just like you and me. Their natural authenticity will always be more popular than a chain, no matter where they are in the country.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash
The Local Economy
Local businesses are the backbone of our economy. Shopping at a local business, rather than a large chain, is better for the economy of our community. Research shows that £20 spent with a local independent company means up to an additional £100 goes back into the local economy. This is simply because the nearby business owners & their staff, who you are spending your money with, will put their money back into the local community by going into local pubs, shops and restaurants etc, so circulating the money and encouraging the local community to thrive.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash
Customer Service and overall Experience
It's true, many big chain businesses do give good customer service, sometimes, but you can’t beat the personal touch of a local owner who knows everyone in the neighbourhood & the industry. They can offer you a product suitable for you, your situation and even your area. Building relationships between the local owner and the local customer goes further than just a purchase. Local companies stock products based on their customer’s choices rather than national fashion trends, so you can find what you want rather than finding what they want to sell you.
Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi / Unsplash
Create local jobs
Shopping with a local businesses has a positive effect on the health of the local job market in the area. Small, local businesses are the largest employer nationally and provide the most local jobs to communities. Local employers are also more likely to pay a higher average wage than their commercial chain counterparts. Helping to grow the number of jobs in your area makes for a better place to live and work which creates a healthy economy for the community.
Did you know? As of 1 January 2021, there were 5.6 million private sector businesses in the UK, over 99% of businesses are small or medium sized businesses – employing less than 249 people.
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Originality and individuality
In a retail world which is becoming increasingly dominated by multi-nationals, independent businesses bring originality and variety into communities. They can make shopping a genuinely nice experience, dealing with real humans, just like you & me :-)
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Local business for local charities
Many local businesses support local charities, by shopping locally you are helping to increase the number of local donations. Large chain companies also support charities, and there is no right or wrong one to support, but if you prefer to help support a local one then buying locally is a great way to support locally.
Photo by Prudence Earl / Unsplash
The reason local companies have such competitive prices is thanks to healthy competition. A marketplace of thousands of small businesses is the most reliable way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. If a few large companies dominate & take over, we can all imagine the end result.
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Independent businesses are where innovation starts - it’s how things progress. With the creativity and innovative nature of local businesses and entrepreneurs, industries advance at a fantastic rate. For example, the coffee shop, chain coffee shops are right now following in the footsteps of independent coffee shops. They are trying to blend more into the community and seem more authentic. This is happening all over Great Britain and is thanks to the innovation of local businesses.
Local companies pay local taxes, not offshore, no highly paid Cayman Island based accountants to hide money away. OK, you may not agree with the way that the Government spends our money, but isn't it better that they have it in the first place, through local companies paying their fair share in tax?
Photo by Azzedine Rouichi / Unsplash
If things go wrong
It’s important to know that if anything was to go wrong you have a local company to talk to. If you are 'lucky' large commercial companies will hide away but eventually give you a phone number for their customer service team, which could be anywhere in the world, and make you wait for what seems like ever until you can speak to someone. A small local business is staffed by poeple who understand you and want to help fix the problem, not someone reading a script like a robot !!
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