Support your Local traders Lights Night on Friday 24th November marked the official start of the festive season and Hornsea Chamber of Trade, despite being low on numbers and support, did their usual excellent job of ensuring that everyone who ventured into the town centre enjoyed the celebrations. For some it was an opportunity to begin our Christmas shopping, but traders will be hoping that this will be the first of several visits by all residents to the town centre in the run up to Christmas Day.
In this era of tough times for the High Street, Hornsea fares relatively well compared to many other towns, with high occupancy rates in our shops. This has to be contrasted with the high turnover rate- many businesses try and fail but always seem to be quickly replaced by someone else willing to have a go. The stark reality is that, as with most seaside towns, our town centre receives very low footfall outside of the summer season and almost all of our shops rely heavily on good Christmas sales to see them through the winter and spring. Meanwhile the super-rich owners of the major supermarkets will be enjoying their usual Christmas bonanzas and sitting back to find a tax haven in which to deposit their ‘earnings’. So why not make a difference this year by pledging to buy as many as possible of your Christmas presents and groceries as possible from your small High Street traders? Save on fuel and parking, take a stroll into town and you might be surprised by how many wonderful gifts and quality products are available. Here are some reasons for buying locally (source AMISA
): By choosing local and independent businesses for your services, shopping, dining and other needs, you not only enjoy a more distinctive and personal experience, you’re helping: BUILD COMMUNITY! The casual encounters you enjoy at neighbourhood–scale businesses and the public spaces around them build relationships and community cohesiveness. They’re the ultimate social networking sites!
STRENGTHEN YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY! Each pound you spend at independent businesses returns 3 times more money to your local economy than one spent at a chain (almost 50 times more than buying from an online mega-retailer) — a benefit we all can bank on. SHAPE OUR CHARACTER! Independent businesses help give your community its distinct personality. YOU CAN BUY IT WHERE YOU TRY IT! Local stores enable you to try on and try out items before you buy — and get real expertise — saving your time and money. CREATE A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT! Independent, community-serving businesses are people-sized. They typically consume less land, carry more locally-made products, locate closer to residents and create less traffic and air pollution. LOWER TAXES! More efficient land use and more central locations mean local businesses put less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety services. They also generate more tax revenue per sales dollar. The bottom line: a greater percentage of local independent businesses keep your taxes lower. GET REAL VALUE FOR YOURSELF! Reader surveys by the Consumers Union repeatedly show independent businesses beating their chain competitors in overall customer satisfaction (and often save you money).
ENHANCE CHOICES! A wide variety of independent businesses, each serving their customers’ tastes, creates greater overall choice for all of us. INCREASE WEALTH OF RESIDENTS! The multiplier effect created by spending locally generates lasting impact on the prosperity of local organizations and residents. CREATE JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES! Not only do independent businesses employ more people directly per pound of revenue, they also are the customers of local printers, accountants, wholesalers, farms, attorneys, etc., expanding opportunities for local entrepreneurs. GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY! Small businesses donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to local non-profits, events, and teams compared to big businesses.
ENHANCE LOCAL DEMOCRACY! Local ownership of business means residents with roots in the community are involved in key development decisions that shape our lives and local environment. ENHANCE HEALTH OF RESIDENTS! Research shows a strong correlation between the percentage of small locally-owned firms and various indicators of personal and community health and vitality.