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In the Community  | 

5 Benefits of Shopping Local and Supporting Local Businesses

Shop Local
5 Benefits of Shopping Local and Supporting Local Businesses

Shopping local has always been an important part of supporting local communities to thrive and grow. Local businesses form an integral part of communities including providing employment and also giving an avenue for local producers to come to market.

The impact of Covid-19 has touched many retailers and many much-loved locally owned stores are in real danger. 

However, the good news is that we can make a difference if we take action as consumers, we can help ensure that our local stores survive and grow. The power is literally in our pockets.
 As St. Patricks Day is fast approaching, what better way to show some patriotic pride that spending a little extra time doing your shopping and purchasing locally this weekend. If we all did it, we would make a huge difference.

As a consumer, when you support a local business it positively impacts your whole community. Here are some top reasons to shop local:

#1: Support the local economy 

Small local businesses are the largest employers in Ireland and are the back bone of our economy. Buying from a small business has a massive knock-on effect on the local economy. According to a report released in April 2020 by the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME), SMEs in Ireland employ two-thirds of workers in the whole economy. 

Spending your money locally creates a circular effect generating a multiplier effect. Local businesses often employ local people and source its goods, services and suppliers within the locality, and thus comes full circle back to owners and employees spending their hard-earned cash in the locality, from accountants, to hairdressers and restaurants. 

In general, local businesses are owned by people who live in the community. These local entrepreneurs are more likely to spend their money locally.

#2: Friendly to our environment

Buying local produce from shops that have sourced the goods from local suppliers reduces your carbon footprint. Larger retail businesses and online shops do have their place, but from an environmental stance, buying from businesses in your area is lower on carbon miles. 

The farmers’ markets and food fairs bring good quality food from local producers to your fingertips without the use of planes, ships or heavy good vehicles. This reduces the amount of fuel used and keeps ‘food miles’ lower. 

When picking out the ingredients for your next dish, think about the food you’re buying. Where was it produced? Does it tell you where it was sourced and packaged? Can you buy Irish instead of imported foods? These small choices will have a positive impact on the local economy.  

#3:  One-of-a-Kind Products

One-of-a-kind businesses help build character in our local towns. Boutiques, jewellery stores and family restaurants attract visitors from neighbouring communities. These businesses create a unique identity for your town.   

These shops also carry products that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you are picking up a gift for someone else or treating yourself, you can find a rare gem that no one else has. 
The combined presence of your town’s many local businesses makes it different from every other place in the world. 

#4: Personalised Service  

For many, going to the local shop for groceries or the local Post Office gives a sense of community and valued social connection. When shopping in local stores where you personally know the staff, you become a ‘regular face’. This builds a familiarity often missing in chain stores. A small business owner will often go to great lengths to help source a product you need and provide personalised customer service. 

#5: Good for your health 

Buying locally-sourced produce has numerous health benefits to you and your family. Ireland benefits from a temperate climate that is perfect for growing grass and a long grazing season for grass-fed livestock. When you buy from local farmers, you have access to fruits and vegetables that were grown locally in ideal settings. There is also benefit to eating raw local honeys, which are thought to help battle allergies. 

Local businesses form an essential part of Irish communities nationwide and now more than ever it is so important to shop local. Shopping local not only boosts local economies, but it is also much kinder to the environment to buy locally grown produce. Shopping local ensures you are guaranteed a more personalised service, so this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, why not get out and support your local businesses.