Independent thinking

Four reasons we should all shop local and support independent businesses – and how to go about it

Islington’s array of businesses are what make the borough such a great place to live, work, and visit.

The vibrancy of our high streets and town centres are helping us get back that sense of normality that’s been missing for over a year. It feels good! Nevertheless, we all know the pandemic has had a massive impact on our economy – we hear it in the news and see it first-hand on our high streets.

Local businesses are the backbone of the economy. Research shows that just £10 spent with a local, independent shop puts £50 back into the local economy, as those business owners and staff in turn shop and spend their money locally, circulating money within the community.

There are plenty of other good reasons to shop local, too:

It creates local jobs: Buying local can boost the job market in your area by producing a need for more workers.

It’s environmentally-friendly: Even though next-day delivery makes online shopping desirable, buying local is far more environmentally-friendly – especially if you walk or use public transport to get to the shops, reducing fuel use and pollution, and bring your own bag to cut down on plastic packaging.

It supports local people and entrepreneurs: By shopping local, you’re supporting entrepreneurs from the local area and helping their business to grow.

It preserves culture and identity: Local businesses help shape the identity of our high streets. By supporting local businesses, you can be a part of nurturing the vibrant and exciting identity of your community.

What you can do:

We can all play a part in supporting local businesses and shaping the future of our high streets. Here are a few simple tips that could help local businesses and our economy recover and thrive:

Order from smaller shops online: Large chains are not the only ones offering online ordering. If you can’t make it in person, have a look to see if your local toyshop, bookshop, florist or clothes boutique might be doing the same.

Spread the word: It doesn’t take much to leave a positive review on Google or Facebook, ‘like’ a local business’s Facebook page or follow them on Instagram. Giving feedback and leaving positive comments on social media can really strengthen the reputation of a business.

Think ahead: If you are looking for a product that you can’t find in a shop nearby, consider asking whether it can be ordered.

Pay it forward: Purchase a gift card or a voucher and give it to a friend.

There are shopping hubs throughout Islington, all open for business and looking forward to seeing you. To find out what’s on offer in your area, check out My Virtual Neighbourhood and explore the vibrant and diverse array of shops, markets and businesses on your doorstep.

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