October 20, 2023 4 min read
#Shop Local has become a bit of a catch cry for independent businesses but what does it really mean when you choose to support your local businesses?
Give yourselves a pat on the back and accept a big round of applause because when you spend local you support all of these things:
You kept your dollar circulating in the local economy: Spending local keeps your dollar circulating in your local area, paying local New Zealand wholesalers and businesses for their goods and services.
You supported makers and creators: We love finding local products from New Zealand artisans and creatives so when you buy from us you keep them going too.
You supported local employment: Good Thing has created jobs for six local women, we have a local book keeper and accountant. In turn all these people spend their pay in local businesses and services, doctors, dentists, fruit shops, mechanics, etc. This all helps keep the local economy strong.
You got behind entrepreneurship: Starting a local business is a leap of faith - when you shop and spend local you tell those entrepreneurs that you value the risks they took. Entrepreneurship is crucial for a strong economy and 97% of New Zealand businesses are small or micro enterprises employing under 20 people. New Zealand is powered by a whole pile of entrepreneurs who had an idea and decided to give it a go.
You helped keep your main street interesting: Unique local offerings are not found in malls and big box shopping areas. They help make your local area unique and interesting, they give you a point of difference, somewhere interesting to wander to on a weekend and hopefully they attract other unique local businesses too.
You supported community: Local stores offer you a sense of belonging - they are YOUR places. The products are selected to suit the clientele, the staff are long-standing and knowledgeable and will recognise you and be interested in your life, you’ll run into others you know, you will be welcomed.
You supported local engagement: Local stores support local organisations: the kindy gala, the school quiz night, the sports team raffle, the winter PJ drives - all of these organisations benefit from donated prizes and vouchers and support.
You took advantage of our great customer service: Our staff know their products and can help you find what you need. They can offer suggestions and advice, gift wrapping and a friendly conversation.
You helped keep local business alive: Regular supportive local customers are the lifeblood of local business. If you love a business in your local area then use it and support it. Admiring something from afar, thinking others must be in there shopping, or deciding to spend at a cheaper chain store means your local business will struggle to survive.
You helped make us a destination: When you shop local and give lovely gifts to friends, or wear our clothes and recommend us to workmates, you help others find us and enjoy us both in person and online. This helps keep local businesses strong and robust. So thank you!
What else can you do to support #Shop Local?
Pop in, just for a wander, for a chat, for a birthday card, for something bigger. Even just coming in creates a feeling of energy in the store, which gives everyone a boost. A lovely look at beautiful things in a calm and friendly atmosphere is surely a nice way to spend 15 minutes.
Follow us on social media, and like and comment on our posts as with the digital algorithms that helps others see the posts as well. This doesn’t cost anything but is a really great way to support your local businesses.
Bring in your friends and family, introduce them to your local favourites. If you have friends visiting from out of town bring them down, we’d love to welcome them.
Spend when you can. When times are tough if seems sensible to stay away from temptation, but if you do need to buy a card or a gift or something for your work wardrobe, consider if you can do that in a business you truly love. Shopping local through hard times means your local faves will still be there when the economic situation brightens.
Tell others about us. If you love what we do here then tell others… hopefully they will love us too!
* Thanks to Fullers Book Shop in Hobart of the inspiration for this post. Over the eight years of owning Good Thing we’ve always made a beeline for unique independent stores whenever we’ve headed out of Auckland or overseas. They give a place true personality and really make you feel like you’ve had a different experience.
When I went to Tasmania last year I stumbled on the amazing Fullers Book Shop in Hobart. It was the bookshop of my dreams and I bought lots of books for Christmas gifts.
On their paper shopping bag was a list of great reasons for shopping local which inspired me to write something similar about what #Shop Local means to us at Good Thing. Thanks for reading.
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