At Cat's Pajamas one of our goals is to support local businesses to thrive by helping them tell their story to build their brand and grow their business. Over the last month we have been saddened by the news that three independent retailers on our local high street have ceased trading. It's especially frustrating when there are so many big chains muscling in - we even have two of the same well known coffee shops at either end of the high street!
So why should we support local businesses? Here are our top five reasons we think we should do more to help, whether that's local retailers/ services who have a physical presence on our high streets or independents who operate via the online market place.
1. Our local economy
By buying local we are all supporting our own local economies. Not just because we have spent money with a local business but because most of our independent business owners are part of our local community. They will be spending their money in the local high street too. Also many local businesses partner and collaborate with others, sourcing local products and suppliers.
2. Our customer experience
Local business owners are far more likely to want us to experience their products and services in the most positive way possible as their reputation locally relies on it. Customer service will be key and local businesses will also want to resolve any issues quickly and to the best of their ability (we are far less likely to be put on hold or to have to jump through hoops if we have experienced a problem with a local company as opposed to a big chain). Word of mouth is important to local business owners so they will want us to say great things about them.
3. Our people with personality
Local business owners are one of us! They are people that live and work in our community, know about our local area, needs and trends. We can talk to them about what matters to us and they genuinely care. Small independents are usually full of personality too because they are able to be genuine and authentic.
4. Our chance to support innovation and creativity
Most small business owners are risk takers - they took a risk branching out on their own in the first place. Because of this, they are in a great position to innovate and try out new ideas. They are also super creative, looking at opportunities to meet the needs of our local communities and to collaborate.
5. Our tribe
And let's not forget for those of us who are local business owners we are all part of the same tribe! By supporting each other we can help the local economy to flourish.