Support your community

Retailers: Bakeries for example, whether they are a franchise outlet or an independent store, are often owned by local residents. Photo: Sam Hollier.
Retailers: Bakeries for example, whether they are a franchise outlet or an independent store, are often owned by local residents. Photo: Sam Hollier.

There are many definable benefits to be had from buying local.

Shops and other small businesses whether they offer products, services, or both tend to employ the local people.

On top of that, a lot of smaller independent businesses, and even plenty of franchise or dealer outlets, are actually owned by local people too.

Buying local is also handy whenever you need after-sales support.

The benefits are not just limited to supporting small independent operators either. Plenty of larger organisations also give back to the community in some way, be it through supporting charitable organisations, sponsorship of local sporting or community groups, or even things like DIY and project workshops to improve the knowledge and skills of their local customer base.

Various businesses, organisations and groups also go to various lengths to incentivise buying local.

Governments and councils tend to have policies that encourage it, and chamber of commerce groups organise various things like events, reward programs, and other initiatives.

CASE STUDY

Business Horsham in country Victoria is an interesting case study, being merely one example of a group that does a long list of things to encourage local spending and support their local community.

Australian Community Medias local paper The Wimmera Mail-Times is also one of their major sponsors.

As the local chamber of commerce for their region, their members more than 150 of them are made up of the local business operators.

In one of their 2017 newsletters the chairperson at the time Brian OConner wrote Shopping locally creates jobs, encourages competitive pricing and improves the viability of businesses which secures our regions future.

Groups like this also give back to their communities in more ways than bolstering the local economy.

Throughout the year Business Horsham have a number of events including a fundraising campaign to address homelessness, awards for outstanding customer service, a coordinated end of financial year sale day, and several others to keep the local economy thriving.

To really encourage the local residents to shop at home, one initiative they came up with was gift cards that are accepted at over 60 nearby businesses.

Incentive programs: Wendy Mitchell and Kerryn Golder with Shop Horsham gift cards, which can be used in more than 60 businesses. Photo: Paul Carracher.

Incentive programs: Wendy Mitchell and Kerryn Golder with Shop Horsham gift cards, which can be used in more than 60 businesses. Photo: Paul Carracher.

WHAT TO DO

The simplest thing to do is support the local businesses and organisations who help create local jobs, be it in the manufacturing, retail or service sector.

To really care about spending locally, make the effort to find out who it is that owns the shop, outlet, dealership, workshop or mobile service.

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