According to a survey by Barclaycard, changes to our shopping behaviour due to Covid restrictions could be set to become permanent and that’s great news for small local businesses.

Driven by the necessity to work from home and shortages in supermarket delivery slots during the pandemic, more of us than ever are shopping from independent retailers with 9 in 10 saying that they will continue to do so.

Here at PostcodeLife® we love to support and highlight fantastic small businesses, but why is it so important?

1. Support small businesses

This is probably the most obvious reason on the list, your custom makes a bigger difference. We’ve all seen that post doing the rounds that says when you shop from a small business, you’re not just making a CEO richer but feeding a family, funding their next holiday, or paying for a child’s dance lessons… Well, that’s very true. When you choose to shop local, you support them in providing a living for their family and a salary for their staff.

During the pandemic, many of these small businesses, responded by changing their entire business model to help keep us in essential supplies, offering delivery services or changing their stock offering. Many others had to make physical adjustments to or reduce capacity in their premises and that came at a cost which was harder for them to absorb than larger chains. Now we have an opportunity to support their recovery.

2. A personal service

Regular customers of a local business will very often enjoy a far more personal service. We’ve talked about how much your custom matters and if small business owners can provide amazing and memorable customer service, not only will they retain your custom, but word gets out. The more loyal customers they gain, the more recommendations they’ll receive. A business that specialises in a particular product or service may be more passionate and knowledgeable too than staff working for a large department chain. They’ll have selected and invested the products personally and will be well equipped to help you make the right choice.

3. Use it or lose it

Imagine a world where every high street looked the same and your choices were limited to the same branded coffees or pizzas. Imagine your wardrobe and home accessory choices were the same as everyone else’s. How boring would that be?! And why would you ever leave your own town? If you like to flick through Instagram or Pinterest for special gifts, why not browse your local retailers too? It’s in our best interests to help to ensure their survival and keep a diverse offering.

4. A local boost

A variety of local independent businesses bring character and give visitors from further afield a reason to make the journey to a town, which is good news all round. Busy high streets mean more trade, attracting other business owners and creating more jobs for local people. It also means a boost for local hospitality with hungry shoppers heading to coffee shops, restaurants, and cafes and who will they turn to for a repair to their kitchen sink, or support with their tax returns? That’s right… local plumbers and accountants. Not only that, but more businesses paying into the local economy means more money for schools and other public services.

5. It’s greener!

In many cases, local businesses – especially stockists of fresh produce like grocers and florists will keep goods that are locally sourced or produced which means less transportation. It’s even more eco-friendly (and better for you) if they’re within walking distance and all counts towards cutting your carbon footprint.

So, there you go! Not only might you receive a better service, but there’s also the feel good factor too – You’re helping to build a community AND save the environment.

So how can you go even further to support your favourite local businesses?

  • Sign up to their loyalty scheme – Many indie coffee shops offer a free coffee when you fill a card. Show your support by signing up and give yourself an added incentive to visit them.
  • Support them on social – Follow them, like and comment on their posts and share their offers with your friends.
  • Write a review. A glowing testimonial from a previous happy customer takes minutes but is powerful.
  • Give them your custom as a Christmas gift – Your local high street has had it tough this year, with many small businesses forced to close or restricted by (sadly necessary) adjustments to allow for social distancing but with the countdown to Christmas 2021 fast approaching, there’s an opportunity to help. Why not commit to buying all your Christmas gifts this year from your favourite local retailers?

Are you a small business owner? Find out more about how your local Postcode Partner can help you showcase your products or services here.