Coming from a small town on the Irish border, I have witnessed the devastating effects of the financial crisis first hand: boarded-up shopfronts, quiet pavements & commercial streets plastered with 'To Let' signs.
Businesses open & close across the country year in year out. There is no mystery here - start-up enterprises and closures are a normal occurrence in any economy and happen for a variety of reasons.
It shouldn't be up to us to keep local businesses from closing. On the contrary, it should up to the business to provide a product or service to the community that is so good that we keep coming back.
But we can do a little bit to help!
There are many reasons why we should spend our cash in the local community before jumping onto Amazon, ASOS or Alibaba to buy the latest products, plastics or threads. Here are my top 5:
In the world where aggressive globalization is rampant (with a Starbucks on every second street), it is refreshing to see stand-alone businesses with distinctive & unique shop fronts. This shows economic resilience, cultural strength and builds the town's character!
Compared to large chains, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger percentage of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.
This one is straightforward: locally owned businesses create more jobs locally! When I finished college I had to stay in the capital to find work as there were no jobs at home. Unfortunately, a mass exodus to the capital is an annual ritual for rural school leavers.
Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers which, in turn, are essential to reducing sprawl, vehicle use, natural habitat loss, and pollution.
A marketplace or network of hundreds of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and competitive prices over the long-term. In my opinion, a network of small local businesses & SMEs is better than a centralized corporate juggernaut.
Sproose is a local service marketplace where you can book services direct to your home or office. We partner with local, family-run businesses all over Ireland & the UK so they can bring their services directly to you in a modern & technology driven way.
Traditional industries such as laundry, dry cleaning & garment repair specialists will never be able to catch up with the e-commerce heavyweights but we give them a way to offer their services online while still retaining their brand & distinct character.
So next time you are browsing the contents of an Amazon warehouse in Texas, hop over to Sproose and see what service providers are available in your local area. #supportlocal
Pat Mc Kenna