Welcome to this week’s blog post. Small Business Saturday is approaching (5th December 2020) and we wanted to outline why small businesses are important to local communities to encourage everyone to shop local where possible. Wondering why you should shop local? Here are just a few reasons SMEs are important to local communities that might convince you…
Small Business Economy Stats from FSB
- ‘At the start of 2020 there were 5.94 million small businesses (with 0 to 49 employees), 99.3% of the total business. SMEs account for 99.9% of the business population (6.0 million businesses).
- ‘SMEs account for three fifths of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector.
- ‘Total employment in SMEs was 16.8 million (61% of the total), whilst turnover was estimated at £2.3 trillion (52%).
- ‘Employment in small businesses (with 0 to 49 employees) was 13.3 million (48% of the total), with a turnover of £1.6 trillion (36%).’
Fosters community character and identity
It’s safe to say that it’s the small businesses that help to foster and grow the identity of a community.
A main shopping street made entirely of large well-known retailers isn’t the most inspiring. The presence of the individuality and charm of small businesses, whether it’s a family-owned restaurant or an eco-friendly retailer create a more visually appealing community.
This image helps to lend character to the community and has the potential to bring outsiders in. This is a way of putting your community on the map and attracting visitors. When a community is known for a certain charm or personality, visitors are more likely to visit and support them.
Creates local jobs
As mentioned above, SMEs account for three fifths of UK employment. This is more than most people would think, but every local job that’s created means that more people are able to live and work in their local community. The reason people often move out of small towns and cities is for better job opportunities. However, a town or city with a thriving small business environment encourages people to stay.
As a result, local workers may shop locally, as well, maintaining the cash flow throughout a town. This may mean running errands in local shops, grabbing lunch or after-work drinks at a local pub or eatery. Rather than commuting to a neighbouring city, people are able to work closer to home, improving their own work/life balance.
Reduces a community’s carbon footprint
Are you looking to reduce your carbon footprint?
Small businesses are often kinder to the environment because tend to occupy less space and also use significantly less energy and resources. It is likely that products have a smaller carbon footprint themselves as they are often locally sourced meaning, they travel fewer miles compared to overseas alternatives from larger companies.
The location of SMEs is important. They are often within walking or cycling distance of local residents. This encourages a reduction in car usage. Areas of some cities are purposefully designed for walking and outdoor shopping help reduce emissions from vehicles. Traffic congestion is lessened, making the streets safer and a better experience for those driving in the community.
The money stays local
Small businesses tend to favour other small businesses.
As a small business owner, you know just how important it is to support other small businesses in your community. The money spent within the community will then circulate throughout the community.
This then creates a cycle of money continually being spent throughout the local community. This helps to increase the economic health of the community and help to maintain a favourable local cash-flow.
Encourages community involvement
Compared to large retailers, small businesses are all the more likely to get involved in their local communities. In addition to choosing to support local themselves, these small businesses are often involved in activities such as: volunteer work, charitable donations, community events and sponsorships.
Remember, small business owners typically live in the community in which they work. With this often comes a greater desire to help the community and encourage it to grow and develop to the best of its ability.
So, what are you waiting for? Get stuck in and help support your local businesses.
You may remember our #BCRSSMEChallenge social media campaign back in October asking people to share the SMEs they visited throughout the month by setting weekly challenges. Well, for one week only, the challenge is back! This week (30th November – 6th December 2020) in support of Small Business Saturday, we are asking you to share the local businesses you support using #BCRSSMEChallenge and @SmallBusinessSaturdayUK in your posts.
Get involved on social media:
Published by Lauren McGowan – Digital Marketing Assistant