On your doorstep – the importance of keeping it local
(Posted on 27/10/21)
The rise of locally-sourced products and local businesses has been partly driven by the recent pandemic. But there has been a more general trend in recent years to shop local and work local, as a way to enhance or revive local communities. It’s true that the people make the place – not the other way around – and the significance of having a thriving community and a vibrant hub for businesses has never been more important.
Spoilt for choice
There are many opportunities for people to contribute to their local area – from being a provider or supplier, to being a customer and supporter of these local enterprises. The village shop was once the hub of both shopping and gossip, but these days you’re more likely to pop into a small local supermarket that a little independent. That last word is key, as whether we’re talking about the local pub, the village store, a café or craft shop, the need for individuality and independence is key to creating something distinctive and desirable. Something you can’t find anywhere else.
The ‘keeping it local’ ethos can be for everything from food and drink, and local craftspeople, to the associated events that can grow around such ventures, such as festivals and other attended events. This can stimulate local businesses into further collaborations and greater success, such as local produce fairs, which also incorporate crafts, demonstrations, and entertainment. Keeping it local also helps supply chains – goods have less distance to travel – and local suppliers can provide the raw materials – be they ingredients, personnel, or expertise – on their doorstep.
Success breeds success
Of course, if your locality is a high street, you are also helping to revive an area that has been particularly badly hit, caught as it is between the twin icebergs of the pandemic and online shopping. A thriving high street helps jobs and boosts the local economy. A broad range of attractions brings with it a wide range of customers. So a place that is stagnating, with the same old shops selling the same old items, has little chance of survival in an arena where anything and everything can be found online. But the online shopping experience doesn’t work as well for clothes and shoes – if you want to try them on – or food – if you want to sample them. There will always be a market for in-person shops, if only because the novelty and convenience of online will surely eventually wear off.
Success breeds success too, and people want to become part of something successful. A good example of this locally is Chester Market. Here a group of businesses have created something really imaginative and special, and have attracted a wide audience and much praise. Due to its wide opening hours and broad choice, it has become a popular destination for any number of culinary adventures – not just during the day, but into the evening too. In fact, independents are on the rise, as people have had the chance to assess how they would like to work going forward and decided that there’s no better time than now to make their dreams fly.
The local ethos is true of businesses too. People want to work with individuals and companies which provide something uniquely different. There’s a sense of the same ‘old stuff’ when you’re looking online for a collaborator or client, but meeting and working with someone on a local basis can make all the difference to the creativity and collaboration. It also saves a fortune on travel to meetings!
In this way and others, staying local helps the country be more environmentally friendly. That local connection can also sometime mean you are all working towards a common goal, with similar values, from a similar perspective.
Of course, if you’re a local business you’ll eventually need to do some marketing. We work with a variety of national and international, but also some very local business partners, both as collaborators and as clients. For our clients, we can deliver their branding and messages to their target audiences – far and wide, but also very local. Speak to our team to find out more about our services.