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Buying local is something which instinctively seems like a good idea.  In these days of globalisation, supermarkets and the death of the high street, Farmers Markets are some of the most visible and obvious examples of ‘keeping it local.’ Buying locally sourced produce gives us confidence in the quality of what we have purchased and we get a good feeling from doing our bit for the rural economy and for the planet. The fact is that is that it delivers so much more.

In these days of convenience and constantly looking for the cheapest, it’s easy to think that the idealistic option of buying local is luxury we can ill afford; particularly as incomes are squeezed. However, in many cases buying local will represent better service and value for money. The difficulty is how do small local businesses get this message across when drowned out by the marketing budgets of multi-nationals and other large businesses.

One way of addressing this is by local businesses working more closely together to increase the impact their message has and also clearly identifying the advantage of buying local to individuals as well as the community as a whole.

Key reasons for buying local:

Your spending will boost the local economy – the money you spend can be used over and over again, locally.

It’s ethical - you can be confident there is a fair relationship between producer and supplier and that employment rights and animal rights issues are appropriately addressed.

It’s the ecological choice – local services and products have a lower carbon footprint.

A wish to reflect local values and character in a way larger businesses are unable to do due to their corporate nature.

Helps build and sustain a sense of community.

In terms of opportunity this is an excellent time for people to buy local. One of the outcomes of the difficult economic times experienced in recent years is that the number of people self-employed is currently at its highest level since records began over 40 years ago. As of the start of 2014 the Federation of Small Businesses estimated that there were around 5.2 million businesses in the UK and that they employed on average less than 5 employees each. That represents a huge number of small businesses, representing a diverse range of skills and expertise, which are spread throughout communities up and down the country and in many cases they can provide a service and value for money that is similar or better than their larger competitors.

In summary, customers are interested, businesses are enthusiastic and the local economy and wider community would benefit. The potential is there, waiting for us all to deliver.  

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


The benefits of keeping it local.