Many high streets around the U.K. have long been under threat from out of town supermarkets, and online retail giants. Couple that with rising rents and a decline in public wealth, and you’ve got a recipe for a hostile retail environment.
We’ve all seen a local shopping area slowly become empty, with shops closing down and nothing replacing them; it’s a sad sight and one that can set in decay and ruin a town, or create the perfect environment for homogenous brands; making your high street look exactly like every other, and lining the pockets of billionaires.
In these times of continued uncertainty, we need to each try to do what we can to support independent business. Here are four ways you can help;
- Buy something. Really, anything. A small purchase can make a huge difference if we all make the effort. For every £1 spent in an independent business, up to 60p remains in your local economy. Each time you spend with a small business, you are helping a neighbour, a tax payer, and supporting creativity and entrepreneurship.
- Recommend. Leave positive reviews on Google, or on social media for your favourite shops, restaurants and salons. Many people will leave a review if their experience is less than great, but not as many people take the time to leave a review when their experiences are amazing. It makes a huge difference to those businesses, and helps others to choose them too.
- Follow and engage. Find your favourite independent businesses on social media, and don't forget to engage with their posts! Comments and likes tell social media algorithms that certain content is popular, and will make it available to a much broader audience.
- Talk about it. Tell your friends and family about your favourite independent shops, ask to receive gifts or vouchers from them for your birthday or Christmas, purchase gifts for others from your fave indy shops. Spread the word far and wide about why you think they’re so wonderful.
What steps will you be taking to support independent businesses in your area? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.