Why support local? - Through the eyes of a small business owner
By now we have all heard the saying, Support Local and Local is Lekker but have you ever wondered why you should embrace this mindset and join in?
Perhaps owning big name-brands and imported wares is your thing, following the who’s who and trend setters from across the ocean. The truth is, it does nothing to support local artisans, creators and entrepreneurs whose survival weighs on local customers supporting them.
Shift towards conscious consumerism
To understand the importance of why we need to support local, we first have to understand what actions conscious consumers can take.
More customers are asking conscientious questions before investing in a product. You might be asking yourself, why these relevant questions? We are human beings and experience life through senses and feelings. Emotions play a large part of daily life choices connecting with your local business/ brands story influences our buying decisions.
Here are questions you can ask?
- How a product was made
We are curious by nature. Information shared on HOW a product was made gives us insight. In turn we make an informed decision on the quality of the product and its worthiness to invest in.
- Where the materials & ingredients were sourced
Sourcing locally produced materials/ ingredients makes a difference. With it comes the fostering of community bonds and decreased energy required to produce materials of non-local origin.
- Is the packaging sustainable
Single use packaging is a nuisance, even so, packaging is large part of societies behaviour. Purposeful packaging is a subject I hold close to my heart and as a maker I believe the buck stops with us entrepreneurs, manufactures and producers to provide purposeful packaging. Creating a sustainable alternative in the way we package goods.
- Who is the maker
Every small local business owner has a story to tell. It can be an appealing draw card for discerning customers. In a nutshell it’s the connection we have with entrepreneurs/ small business owners that will determine a sale.
Through the eyes of a small business owner
Taking the leap from employed to self-employed is a huge step for many small business owners. For me, it was both exciting and terrifying all rolled up into one. It started with conceptualising an idea, making that idea a tangible reality and before I knew it, friends and family were placing orders. As small business owners we love what we do by supporting us you support the uniqueness we offer. Through this we can continue to keep afloat, survive and ultimately thrive.
Top 3 reasons to support local
- Personalised experience
When you shop local you get to meet the person behind the brand/business, this provides real human interactions. Speaking to the person who made the product, getting to know their story and how they made the product deeps your appreciation for the product you buy and enjoy. A human connection outweighs a robot encounter and is another reason why shopping local is best.
- Shopping local = equals health
The more you buy locally grown produce the fresher it will be. Fresher meal ingredients mean a healthier lifestyle. Even if a you don’t have local farmers market nearby, supporting your local grocery store who purchase produce directly from famers in your community can positively impact your health and wellbeing. Furthermore, shopping for locally made products can be beneficial for your health too. A local purchase has not travelled thousands of miles to get to you. In turn this reduces its carbon footprint and environmental impact.
- Community- based approach
Choosing to purchase from community-based businesses circulates wealth within your local economy. It also retains the quaint individual identity of that area. Sustaining vibrant town centres which accommodate the unique offerings that its bakers, boutiques, grocers and other small shop owners provide. Small business owners in turn employ members within their community, boosting development and strengthening relationships.
Think local next time you reach for something on the shelf or better yet seek out your local business. Conscious adjustments like these play a huge part in the survival of small businesses. Who knows you may even find some great products and services while helping to build a stronger and successful community around you.
Guest blog post by Lulu Edy-Roderick
Lulu Edy-Roderick is a beekeeper and wild plant forager, the owner of artisan business Lulubee, starting her entrepreneur journey in 2017. She is passionate about conserving bees, plants and conserving the natural world.