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Think Local, Buy Local, Be Local

How many of you have purchased something online from a company that operates outside of our region or even overseas? Don’t feel bad, most of us have.

Through networks and social media platforms we are exposed to online opportunities every day, taking money away from our region. Going local does not mean shutting out the rest of the country or world. What it does mean though is supporting locally owned businesses which use local resources, employ local workers and serve the local community where you can. It means we make the choice to become less dependent on imports and allow for the control of product and service offerings to be in the hands of the community where it belongs.

Many of us have felt the effects of having a local business close their doors, often seeing them walk away with nothing but a loss. It opens up an opportunity for us to quickly pass judgement on what we think went wrong. After all, they had a great product or service offering; I loved going there! But when was the last time you actually purchased something from them? Do you remember the time you drove past thinking, I must get in there soon. But by the time you eventually got around to it, they’d closed their doors.

Often unless you are a business owner yourself you may not understand the real importance of supporting local businesses that rely so much on the support of the local community. Small businesses are the vital cogs in the local economy wheel and they have the opportunity to grow if they have the support from the local community.

Unfortunately, the perception out in the world is everything is cheaper online. We are quick to forget that we instantly lose the customer service interaction and allow the locals to showcase their unique offering. Before you know it the cost of the delivery on top of your goods or services has far succeeded the price of it locally. And online shopping is something that is only going to increase. If you are a business owner it may be worth opening up an online store that will assist in driving sales.

I also encourage local business partnerships to promote your local support through advertising and marketing platforms. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk. And if you’re a consumer I encourage you to stop and think next time you’re about to click on that online purchase, and ask yourself, “can I get this from a local business?” Make a promise to yourself that you will go out and visit the local shops in search for what you are looking for; you may be surprised at what you find!

Support local business and they will support you.

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