Why Support Small Local Business?
Running a business is hard work. Even the CEO of the biggest multinational - for the truck load of money they earn and mansions they own - will tell you that running the business and knowing that the figurative and literal buck stops with you is a heavy weight to bear.
That goes double for a small business because the impact of a bad decision, a bad sales month or supply issues affect people in a far more immediate and personal way. There aren’t the degrees of separation that comes from being the Tim Cook’s or Jeff Bezos’ of this world.
Supporting local businesses is something that most governments - wherever you are in the world - strongly advocate for on both national and local levels.
Supporting local businesses means money flows through the economy, keeping everyone in work and tax coffers nice and full. And full government coffers means everyone gets to see their doctor when they want to and the trains run on time. Or something.
Keeping politicians in expense accounts aside there are some really important reasons why supporting your small local businesses is such a good idea:
Supporting Local Economies
Every time you buy from a local business significantly more money stays in the economy and the community.
Studies suggest that 68 cents on every dollar spent at a local business found its way back into the local economy and roughly 43 cents for a chain or national organisation. That number gets a lot less when you start spending your money with multinationals.
So buying local means that more money is going directly back into the local economy in the form of wages and local business deals.
Obviously the more businesses can trade with one another at a local level the more earning potential there is for the employees and the more they can contribute with their salaries.
Plus there are major benefits to dealing with local suppliers. You know the people you’re dealing with for one thing. You know their products and you know where they’ve come from.
In the case of NZ Natural Clothing, all of our label products are NZ made and the knitwear in our stores is NZ made. We offer Swanndri and Norsewear brands as they are Kiwi icons, although we do import some brands, we do our best to source and sell locally produced clothing lines wherever possible.
Supporting Local Community
Local businesses are what makes a town or city unique. They are run by people or families rather than boards or shareholders.
Their priority isn’t success no matter the cost or beating down suppliers and over charging customers.
Local businesses care about their customers and their employees. They’re trading their reputation and their name as much as they are goods or services.
A SME business owner isn’t looking to dominate a market or squeeze out the competition, they’re looking to be the best they can be and provide their community with an outstanding service.
They also employ members of that local community. Every dollar that goes into a local business isn’t just keeping that business alive and well it helps to keep the people in your community in a job and - by extension - contributing their earnings into other local businesses too.
Our property company, Norsewood Heritage Ltd is proud to run markets and events on site to help raise funds and awareness for local groups and traders, they are run indoors and outdoors and link the markets to our shop and Art Gallery. Our own Bore water is supplied free to keep the Norsewood Fire Service engine and tanker ready along with household emergency supply
Here’s our pump shed down the back behind the sock factory!
Supporting Local Good Causes
Corporate Social Responsibility has been around for a while now and is a fairly nonsense way for big corporations to make token gestures of employee time or company money (occasionally both) to help local communities.
It’s always been met with cynicism purely because money invested vs profits made, it’s a tiny fraction or a tiny fraction.
However, local businesses are able to support local good causes in a far more impactful way. For a start, they’re aware that they exist which is a pretty important first step.
Secondly they have a vested interest in the local community which means they are far more likely to work on an ongoing basis with the good cause rather than a ‘fire and forget’ project and never be seen again.
Finally, because the relationship is there and the ongoing help more likely, the money or the time (or both) that gets invested goes right where it needs to.
We took that one step further by investing in The Wopwops wetland park for the community and tourists to have free access to see the endangered native long finned eel (Tuna - maori)
The Kui Kui Charitable trust was formed so we can do a long term lease on the site without fear of it being closed if Julie and I sell the property. We even have a donations page for this, https://givealittle.co.nz/org/thewopwops any help will be gratefully received and when we can we will support other eco based projects in the area.
Mutual support and cooperation are the underpinnings of every successful society everywhere in the world. Aggressive competition from massive companies only only benefits very few at the top of the all consuming corporate machine and leaves very little left alive in its wake.
Local businesses generate jobs, keep local economies strong and work towards an ethical and sustainable future. Which is so much better than the world handing companies like Amazon 2000USD every single second. Local businesses also tend to pay their taxes. Just saying.