Sustainability has taken over. Everywhere you look, there’s tips and advice on how to live an eco-friendlier and more sustainable lifestyle whilst looking after our planet. In a world that’s dominated by consumerism and the immediate need for buyer satisfaction, shopping at small independent businesses is important for us to thrive in the sustainability economy. The great thing about independent businesses is that they’re run by real people, bringing much needed individuality and value into our communities. Shareholders and boards of directors don’t have much of a part to play in the running of small businesses – meaning they can be a real breath of fresh air.
Shopping small businesses has more of an impact on your local economy and community than you may be aware of. When you buy from a small (mainly independent) business in your local area, the money goes back into the community to pay for schools, parks, and safety in your neighbourhood. You’re helping your own community to thrive. You’re supporting a local entrepreneur, a family owned business, local artists, and so much more. Small business not only have one-of-a-kind pieces you won’t find anywhere else, typically those that run these businesses are passionate about their products and offer great experiences. Not only do small businesses pay taxes that are poured straight back into the community, they provide local jobs which in turn creates a healthy and stable local economy. Even better than that many small businesses support local charities, and when you spend your money in an independent local business, you’re unknowingly helping to increase charitable donations to causes that matter in your area.
When you shop at your local bakers, green grocers, or butchers, it’s more than likely a lot of what you’re consuming has a short farm-to-table journey. At first this may seem unimportant, but by shopping at a local company over a massive conglomerate you’re positively impacting the environment. Most local shops you visit are within walking distance so take out the environmental impact driving to a store may have, reducing air pollution and traffic all in one go. As well as this, the food you buy from a local retailer probably has more nutrients and way less packaging. And in case you didn’t know plastic packaging is bad. Very bad. We want the communities we live in to thrive, the quality of our high-streets to improve, and for society to care about the importance of sustainability – we need to shop small businesses in the sustainability economy.
As with most things in life, purchasing with purpose and intent makes a difference. Before you begin the petrol-fuelled drive to your local supermarket, or mindlessly click around the internet creating more online orders than you can keep track of, consider the benefits of shopping local independent businesses. We see small businesses come and go and blame it on large chain retailers, when in reality we could help to prevent this from happening by shopping small and local. As we move towards a more values driven society focusing on being environmentally conscious and sustainable, small businesses will continue to support and improve the neighbourhoods we live in whilst having a healthier impact on the environment. Everyone wins.
Written by J’Nae Phillips