Supporting Local Businesses

Shop local

Local Shops have local character.
Local shops are much more likely to reflect the character of the local community than a big supermarket. Whether it’s a village shop selling local eggs, a butcher in a market town selling sausages made from local meat produced to its own recipe, or a neighbourhood shop in a city selling foods traditional to the cultures that live there, local shops represent genuine diversity. This diversity provides more choice to shoppers than having an Asda, Sainsbury’s and a Tesco in the same town.
Local shops are part of the community.
Locally owned shops are more likely to be linked into the local community. Many village shops carry out additional services for local people, delivering shopping for elderly customers, even looking after their pets when they are away. Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.
Local shops keep money in the Local Economy.
Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy. This is particularly true of shops that source food and other products locally.
Killer fact.
Every £1 spent with a local supplier is worth £1.76 to the local economy, and only
36 pence if it is spent out of the area. That makes £1 spent locally worth almost 400 per cent more (New Economics Foundation)
What about shoppers who are on a tight budget?
Low income families and communities are likely to be served better by a range of local shops where they can compare prices and which do not have to be accessed by car. Supermarkets are certainly not always the cheapest option especially for healthy food. Several studies have shown that fresh fruit and vegetables are cheaper at greengrocers and street markets.
The supermarkets with the highest proportion of low-income shoppers (in particular Morrisons, Somerfield, Iceland and Tesco) performed worst in terms of making their food healthier and providing health related information on their labels.
Surely supermarkets are just providing what consumers want?
Consumers did not choose to have the life sucked out of their high streets. They may be buying from the multiples but they are increasingly demanding an alternative. Opinion polls show that people value their local shops. Opinion polls also show that people want to buy local or at least British food. Big supermarkets may claim to be selling local food but most of these products still go via the central distribution system. Local shops are much better placed to source genuinely local food.
The environment.
Transport– the rise of the supermarkets, with their centralised distribution systems, global sourcing and their emphasis on processed food offerings, has created far more ‘food miles’ than ever before. This means more climate change gas emissions, local pollutants, road-building and congestion.
Over the last decade, the distance that food travels before it reaches shoppers has increased, and the amounts being imported have tripled by volume since 1980. Big supermarkets are also geared up to car-based shopping – even if they are located on the edge of a town rather than out-of-town – contributing more to these problems.
Big shed like stores emit far more CO2 than small shops. Studies show that people can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by eating more locally produced, fresh and in-season foods, but supermarkets are not the best places to find them. A survey by Friends of the Earth found that, in the middle of the UK apple season, well over half of the apples in Asda and Tesco stores were imported.
Supermarket specifications for cosmetically perfect fruit and vegetables cause a great deal of waste in the food chain. In contrast, buying fruit and vegetables from independent shops, markets or farmers’ markets can produce far less waste.
We’d like to support local shops but what can we do?
Buy local first – even if you don’t switch all your shopping away from the supermarket you may be surprised at how much you can get from your local shops. If they don’t have what you want ask them to stock it.
Get involved in local campaigns to promote local shops and local purchases.

Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy. This is particularly true of shops that source food and other products locally.

This isn’t about Tesco who want to open a store next to the Cutler pub, its about the local independent shops in Anston who serve our community.                                                        We need them to survive and thrive.

Further reading:                                                                                           



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2 Responses to Supporting Local Businesses

  1. Veritas. says:

    I hope the ‘bods’ from Tesco don’t think the proposed new store adjoining the Cutler is a “Done Deal”? Instead of wasting their time propping up the bar and buying a few chips the two Tesco people should have been asking local shoppers and residents for their views on the new store and the impacts it will have on the area plus giving an honest appraisal of the likely increase in traffic.
    If RMBC really wants to improve the Nursery Rd/Woodsetts Rd/Quarry Lane junction they should seriously consider a pedestrian crossing on Nursery Rd. instead of expecting people on foot to play dodgems with the traffic trying to reach the central refuge. That will be of more benefit to Anston residents than another shop.


  2. S Thornton says:

    I saw two persons walking from the chip shop towards the “Cutler” Pub today. Both had Hi Vis vests on marked “TESCO”.


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