If you are from a small town like me, you will know the uproar from locals when a chain shop or restaurant decides to open its doors. However, this can happen when the locals don’t use what is on offer around them and small businesses have to close; instead, local shoppers are going further afield or even shopping online.
Don’t get me wrong, I barely step foot in Bideford, but I always try and buy from local businesses before I commit to a purchase online. I can only imagine how hard it is for small local businesses to compete with huge chains nowadays, but that is why the local community should try and support them the best way they can – by shopping local. If not, your local area could end up being overrun with national outlets, restaurants and coffee shop brands. And we all know how that will take the idyllic charm out of our local area! Because of this, I’ve taken a look at some reasons why it is important to use local businesses.
As many of you know, I live just outside of Bideford, which is a town in North Devon. In the warmer months, it becomes jampacked full of tourists, which I can only imagine is great for local businesses. When I used to go on a staycation, I used to love going to smaller, independent shops to see what amazing things I could find for keepsakes. However, if business is not sustainable for these smaller shops, you could end up losing the whole charm of your home town, and the business of tourists.
In my opinion, I always find the service much better when using a local, independent business. I think this is because they appreciate that you have taken the time to use them instead of a larger, more established supplier. They rely on locals to use them and want you to recommend them to others, which you probably will if the service is good. Local businesses are usually more readily available to answer any questions about the products they have and the service they offer, and they can often order specific items for you to purchase at your request.
I personally feel like local businesses make more of an effort when they know you live in the area. For example, when our underfloor heating wasn’t working, I tried to contact SO many different businesses that were in Exeter and elsewhere, and they never responded to me. It wasn’t until I finally found someone locally in Barnstaple that the problem was fixed because they came round the next day!
I know that my dad can sometimes struggle as a local businessman. He is a builder, and he tells me there is either too much work or not enough work. He has built his brand from word of mouth and obviously being a cracking builder! However, I can imagine how difficult other tradesmen have it when they are trying to get their business off the ground. I think a lot of local people forget that when you use a local tradesman, you can build a relationship with them and they will be able to pop over if something were to go wrong much more easily. I know some people who have used the same electrician or plumber for years, and I think it’s a tradition that everyone needs to get in the habit of doing!
Why You Should Shop Local
Whether you want to use a local service or visit a shop, there are endless reasons why you should choose local businesses instead. When shopping locally, you are actually benefitting your entire community. You help people buy houses, buy cars and just help them get by; surely that is better than knowing your money is going into some rich man’s pocket? What’s more, the taxes local businesses pay go toward improving the area.
Without the Yellow Pages being popped through your door, it can be hard to find a local business and service without trawling the internet and social media, spending countless hours doing so. However, there is a much easier way of finding what you need, and that is by using Yellow Trumpet. This isn’t only good for people looking for local businesses to use, but also great if you are one yourself! A basic listing is £25 a year, going up to more comprehensive packages that allow you to make the most of their services and engage with a connected community. There is a free option, a basic (£25) and professional (£295), all of which come with their own perks and is an annual cost. If you want to get your business heard in the North Devon area, then this is definitely a website you should consider! No matter how small your business, Yellow Trumpet can be just the website to use to let customers find you!
I know that I am going to try and make a conscious effort to use local businesses more and I think everyone can. Do you try and use local businesses? Let me know in the comments below!
This post is a collaboration where money or goods were exchanged for it to be published; however, all opinions are my own.