1. You boost the local economy
Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, an estimated 63p stays within the local economy, compared to 40p for a larger business.
2. You increase the value of your home
High streets populated with thriving independent businesses boost the prices of nearby homes. Research by American Express in 2013 found that house prices near a prosperous town centre rose by an average of £40,000 more over the previous decade than other properties. Meanwhile, a higher prevalence of charity and discount stores tended to decrease home values in the area.
3. It is more ethical
When you shop at a local butchers, bakers, farm shop or greengrocer, it is likely that a decent percentage of the produce has had a short field-to-fork journey. As a bonus, it means that the food is likely to contain more nutrients and have less packaging (particularly plastic).
4. You support local entrepreneurs
Head to your local artisan market. These help bolster the talents of the next generation of British designers and retailers. There is a constant turnover of new products and sellers listen to customers’ demands. From food to fledgling clothing designers, there will be something for everyone.
5. You help to build your local community
Bookshops, cafes and craft shops often drum up custom by hosting events from reading groups to knitting clubs and children’s events. If local businesses are not supported, these fun local groups tend to disappear too.
6. You might get a better deal or some good advice
Local independent businesses can use their discretion to reward regular custom. Small retailers can give advice – such as a butcher giving advice on cooking times or how large a joint you might need to feed a family get-together (with some leftovers!).
In a survey that we carried out earlier in the year, we found that 81% of high street shoppers trusted advice provided by local shops and businesses, over national chains.
We also found that:
- 74% prefer shopping locally to online.
- 80% trust the advice provided by local shops/businesses over national chains.
- 48% seek advice from staff before making a purchase.
- 90% enjoy talking to staff in their local shops.
- 80% believe their high streets need more independent shops.
- 81% prefer face-to-face transactions to online.
To speak to one of our local insurance experts, who can make sure you receive the proper advice about insurance, please visit your local A-Plan branch, on a high street near you!