The UK has a wide variety of retail and service providers across the country – over 300,000 in total!!
But why should we try and shop small/local?
Whilst the bigger providers might offer more standard items, or can compete on price, this doesn’t always make them better.
Some things you can’t put a price on – for example, you get more of a personal experience with a smaller business. You could be on first name basis and become more like a friend, which then means the more of a personal experience they’ll be able to offer. The products, services and recommendations will be bespoke to you. If anything, this increases the variety available and makes them more unique.
Small businesses appreciate it more too. Every sale helps to fund a dream. I don’t think the Big Boss at Amazon etc. would do a happy dance for every order they receive, or even bat an eyelid if someone didn’t purchase from them. And because of this, reputation means everything, increasing the level of service provided.
Spending money with a small business also helps keep more money within your local economy. Research by local authorities’ shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p goes back to the local economy. This compares to 40p in every £1 spent with larger businesses.
Small businesses also tend to spend the money they earn locally, buying products and services from other small businesses. It’s a real win-win situation for our local businesses and communities, helping each other to strive.
I think the current situation with Covid (sorry, I said the dreaded C word!) has increased awareness of the importance of shopping small. Its more and more a case of use them or loose them. Royal Mail and other couriers saw a huge increase in the number of parcels being delivered during lockdown. I think there has been more happy mail sent to loved ones we haven’t been able to see or speak to properly.