5 Reasons To Shop Local | OKIARA Talk
More and more local businesses have been sprouting up recently, and we love to see it! Although some of these businesses may have come to be due to less fortunate circumstances, we stand firm in our belief that every effort is valuable and should be supported, especially by the local community. Whenever you have the chance, you should shop from local businesses. Here’s 5 reasons why:
Starting an independent business is not easy. It takes a lot of guts and sacrifice to put yourself out there and dedicate your time and effort to a venture that may or may not succeed. In many ways, it’s a huge gamble! So when someone we know tells us about their business, we should support them in any capacity we can. Even if we are not interested or cannot currently afford what they are offering, we can always spread the word and help other people find our friend’s business. Supporting a local business does not always have to be in monetary form. It’s great if you can buy from them, but if not, sharing about their business is a good way to show support, too!
Whether it’s fashion, beauty, food or services, each item from a local business is unique and crafted with great care. Local businesses often do not mass produce like larger companies, and offer more of a personal touch that is more in tune with specific consumer demands, rather than casting a wide net for the general masses. Shopping from local businesses is a better way to ensure your needs are met, and preserve originality as well! Especially with handcrafted or handmade products, you will rarely find two items that are alike.
Since local businesses do not operate at the same capacity as large companies, and therefore do not produce at the same rate or volume, shopping local is a great way to combat over-consumption and avoid waste. This, of course, is much better for the environment in the long run, as items are often used for a longer period of time and turnover is not as high as with fast fashion or mass producing brands, for example. It’s also better on our wallet, because we will be more conscious about spending money on what we actually need versus what we only want!
With continuous support, local businesses can expand enough to create job opportunities and improve the socio-economy of local communities. This is especially great when marginalised or less fortunate communities benefit from such opportunities, like single mothers, indigenous people or lower income group members. You never know how your support can improve people’s livelihood. By shopping local, you are supporting your neighbours!
Support towards local businesses enriches the local industry, regardless of its niche. For example, supporting local food and beverage businesses can create a more vibrant eatery scene and improve the quality of F&B outlets in your local area. This will make the industry more competitive in a positive way, in terms of product quality, pricing and selection of goods, with the local community benefitting in the end.
Now more than ever, local businesses need our support. There’s no harm in buying food, clothes, beauty products or accessories from these small entrepreneurs. It’s okay if we find that we don’t like their products; leave them constructive feedback so they can improve! And if we do like what they have to offer, share it far and wide so they can continue to provide excellent products or services.
| Fiqah Roslan