“Support local, shop local… blah blah blah.“ We’ve heard it all before. Now, more than ever, everyone seems to be banging on about it. But how many of us actually live by that premise?
How many of us actually take stock of what we do, where we buy from, who we do business with and who we support regularly? How many of us can say – hand on heart – that they are doing everything they can to feed their local economy and help prevent small, dedicated, passionate providers of goods and services going to the wall?
OK, so I’m ready to be shot down here, but I reckon that we ALL want our local businesses to be there for us. We all want the local restaurant or cafe to be there when we fancy dropping by. We all want to be able to pop in to the corner shop when we’re stuck. And we all want to be able to ring up and order a takeaway, a home-delivery, or even a window clean, whenever we need it.
However, what about when that small, local business owner needs YOU? What about appreciating that their sheer survival – and the livelihoods of people they employ – might depend on a relationship with you that involves a little less ‘casual’ and a little more ‘commitment’.
Yes, like any other business, local enterprises have to earn your trust. They have to prove that they are worthy of your time and your money. But it’s only through a level of regular, sustained support that many of the businesses in your area will survive.
‘Use it or lose it’ probably sounds too flippant when it comes to people and their livelihoods, but it’s a phrase that fits. And it’s a philosophy that is very real and very raw in your area right now.
Local enterprises tend to be run by local people. They try their best to employ local people, work hard to commit to a local supply chain and, generally, help oil the wheels of the local economy. But, very often they are not recognised, appreciated or missed until they are no more. That’s a really sad indictment of their status in today’s ‘global’ society.
I’d suggest that they need our sustained support, both to survive day-to-day and to help them navigate their route out of this Covid quagmire with a touch more confidence, stability and certainty.
We can all do our bit. If we can take a positive out of this past year, it will be that we start to ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to supporting our local enterprises. Let’s not shy away from commitment to our communities.