We have all been there, browsing online when all of a sudden we come across that one item that we so desperately want, probably don’t need but want… and we can have it at the click of a button. With globalisation and the online world growing every second, it is easy sometimes to overlook the convenience of online shopping and travelling to your biggest shopping centre for the best-known brand. However, there are many reasons how you and your community can benefit from shopping locally, just read below.

1. It helps you to lower your carbon footprint.

Most individuals are aware of their impact on the environment, whether they are attempting to reduce their use of single-use plastics, travel more responsibly, or avoid driving wherever possible. As a result, shopping locally and more sustainably is ideal for those concerned about their environmental impact.    

Small local businesses frequently take up residence in the town/village centre, giving a centred diversity that is far better for a community’s walk score than retail malls outside of town. This usually translates to decreased sprawl, traffic, habitat loss, and pollution.

2. It supports your local community

Because locally-owned businesses frequently purchase from other local businesses, service providers, and farms, more money stays in the community when you shop at locally owned businesses rather than nationally owned enterprises. Buying locally supports the growth of other businesses too, however, one of the most compelling reasons to purchase locally is to support local businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on small companies and organisations. As a result, many businesses have battled to stay afloat or to come up with innovative methods to serve customers and promote causes. Buying from a local business or charity shop, whether from a market stall, a physical store, or an internet store, is a terrific way to demonstrate you care about what they do both financially and symbolically. This means they’ll be able to keep doing what they’re doing well.

3. It creates local jobs

By purchasing items within your community, you are helping your economy by creating more jobs by supporting local companies. Even small businesses require enough hands to assist them to sell their products and services, which is why You may assist employment rates in your neighbourhood by shopping locally, in addition to investing in your community. Local businesses frequently supply a great number of jobs to communities, and in some situations, they can even serve as someone’s first job to assist them to get their career started. As the company expands, so will the number of jobs available and the local economy. Furthermore, the more jobs in your neighbourhood, the fewer people will have to commute, resulting in more time and less traffic and pollution.

4. It’s more personal

Another advantage of small businesses is that they are operated by individuals, not boards or stockholders, and you will likely get to know the people who run them. Often, these people, such as family-run store owners, will have intriguing anecdotes to tell about how their stores came to be and about the neighbourhood you live in. A chain can’t equal this level of personalisation. You’ll discover that smaller, local businesses provide considerably superior customer service. Customer service is extremely important to store owners and their families, especially when interacting directly with them. This is what will keep their customers coming back for more. In general, employees who work for larger chains are less invested in the company and hence do not provide the same level of customer service.

5. You Matter More. 

We talk a lot about exercising influence through your shopping decisions. While it’s true that businesses respond to their customers, your values and wants have a far greater impact on your local community company than the big box stores. When voicing your opinions and concerns to small-scale businesses, you are more likely to be heard and appreciated rather than if you were to file a query or complaint to a large-scale business.

6. You’re supporting local not-for-profits

Shopping locally helps to boost the number of local donations because many local companies support local not-for-profits and charities that are relevant to that area. Larger corporations and chains, of course, fund charities, but if you prefer to support local non-profits and charities, your best choice is to shop at your neighbourhood store as non-profit organisations receive 250 percent greater assistance from small business owners than large enterprises on average.

7. You’re encouraging innovation

Local businesses are frequently creative and a place for the development of innovation. After all, they only exist because someone, or a group of people, came up with the notion. Take a peek at the café and coffee industry. There’s always a new local hotspot trying to do something unusual, and these ideas should not be overlooked. You never know, your neighbourhood store might be managed by someone on the verge of developing the Next Big Thing. By assisting them, you are assisting their creativity and ingenuity.

8. Convenience 

Convenience is really important in our life. After all, how convenient is it to simply ‘pop to the shop’ when it’s close by? Many individuals nowadays prefer to shop locally because it is closer to their homes. To reduce the pollution produced by your automobile, leave it at home and ride your bike or take a leisurely stroll to your neighbourhood store.

9. It promotes individuality

Independent enterprises provide much-needed distinctiveness in a world where large chains are homogenising communities. Shopping locally encourages uniqueness and revitalises communities that have been dominated by generic and commodified businesses.

10. It helps create the identity of your community

Finally, one of the most compelling reasons to shop locally is that it contributes to the development of your community’s identity. A town, suburb, or city street with a variety of unique and lively shops can produce a more appealing look that will appeal to both locals and tourists. Consider your favourite cities and suburbs, whether in Australia or abroad, and we’re confident they’re made up of distinctive independent stores that give them life and character. Character and prosperity are created by unique businesses. Your local community’s distinct character is shaped in large part by the businesses that operate there, and this has a significant impact on your general contentment with where you live as well as the value of your home and property.

So, the next time you are eager to buy that one item you have your eye on, pop down to your local market or shops and see if you can find anything similar. Enjoy the atmosphere and conversation with other locals, you might just find something better while you are browsing.