Why you should support local businesses

Where do you buy your food? Do you buy it in a supermarket? Do you have someone deliver it to your door after you purchase on-line? Do you know where the food comes from? I mean, truly comes from!

After coming back from the Woking Food Festival, I saw local businesses been surrounded by customers desperate wanting to buy their products. It occurred to me what would happen if we started supporting them more. Would we see more butchers, green grocers or fishmongers coming back to the high street? Would we be more willing to support these then to go to a large supermarket every Saturday? As the grand-daughter of a green grocers, I for one have heard the stories of what it is like to run one. To have daily struggles, to run the business as bad points. To have local customers and to get to know them and their order. One of the main keys is getting to know your customer, remembering them and for them to feel at ease when purchasing products to make them buy more.

I was watching a show with Mary Portas in called Mary Queen of Shops where she helped a local green grocers build his business. He did home deliveries. He did boxes where they were a surprise on what you got. He promoted the business, kept it fresh and modern and built the store back up and it became successful again. What Mary discovered was that people were more likely to go to the big chain supermarkets as they were more convenient. They sell everything under one place, you can pick it up in one shop and get out of season produce at any time. Personally buying strawberries brought in from Spain in November is weird.

With the deficit in the UK, money being exported to other countries shouldn’t we keep it local? Local money spent in local areas to support local places? How do we support local businesses if they don’t exist? Where my dad lives he has the bonus of having a local farm shop, green grocers, butchers and fishmongers all on his door step. Every area has them, sometimes you have to find them and others you know.

I think the way to do this is to go back in time, realise what these places have to offer. You get to know them personally, you build relationships from either end. You learn about the produce your eating and where it comes from. When the produce will be in season and the best time to buy it. Yes it may cost more but the produce you’ll get is worth its value. You’ll be helping a local business, keeping the old traditions alive and showing support all year round. Instead of being a novelty factor at a local fair once a year. I think if more people did this it would help the deficit and bring local communities back together. To make me happy, we know where our produce is from!

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