You’ve heard this before but I think it’s worth repeating, so with a bit a paraphrasing here we go!
July is Independent Retailer Month – it is a time to celebrate the diverse range of independent businesses that surround us. Without them the high street would be bland and soulless with same-y shops that stretch before the eye and merge into a blur.
Our independent retailers provide that bit of spice, zest, ooh-la-la quality that makes us proud to say we live in the area. They are run by passionate, erudite business people who believe in what they do and want to provide local residents with the very best they can offer.
We are very fortunate to live in an attractive area, with a good variety of independent shops, restaurants and other businesses. By spending your money in your local economy you are protecting jobs and businesses, the social fabric and well being of your local area. The CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies) did some research for FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) about the value of a £1 spent locally – the results are compelling and show how shopping locally has a positive impact on the community! They discovered that for every £1 spent locally around 50p – 70p of that money re-circulates back into the local economy. For the same £1 spent out of town or online only 5p trickles back to the local community. I hope that from these figures you will appreciate the impact that your choice of where to spend can have and that you will make more effort to spend more with local independent businesses.
So July is THE time to reflect on how the collective of local businesses contribute to the community; not just in terms of the revenue that they generate but also how they provide support (local school fetes, charity efforts) and how their presence creates a vibrant high street that is not dominated by chain names. It would be churlish to suggest that everyone should abandon online shopping and veto big chain stores – they are part and parcel of modern living; but shopping locally wherever possible doesn’t mean turning turn the clock back.
So let’s support local independent businesses –not just in July for Independent Retailer Month but all year round!
For more information about Independent Retailer Month please visit http://www.independentretailermonth.co.uk/