You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘shop local’ before.
I was given a stark reminder recently of just how important this is. A great local business, that from the outside looked successful, disappeared from our local high street almost overnight.
You know the type. A local butchers that gave great service, had a fantastic selection of produce and more importantly, was always busy. All of a sudden they close the doors, citing rising costs and that’s it! Gone!
Whilst it’s always sad to see independent businesses disappear, it is not uncommon. What really surprised me with this one though, is that after 50 years of being in the heart of the bustling market town of Thame, they simply closed without warning.
It goes to show, that no matter how successful a business looks from the outside, no matter how busy and popular, we are all suffering from the rising cost of doing business. The media has been full of stories of how our households are feeling the squeeze of the cost of living crisis, but spare a thought for those local businesses that have the same problems amplified.
My heart goes out to any business who has to make these tough decisions. There isn’t a cost in our business that we haven’t seen increase over the past year. Like all businesses, we have had to raise prices, look at costs and work even harder to get sales.
And yet, we can be as guilty as anyone of taking the easy option when we spend our money and forgetting (or not making the effort) to shop local. Its all too easy to just go to the massive online retailer who offers everything, the supermarket who undercuts the independent shop on the high street or the chain restaurant who has deep pockets.
It is easy to forget that when you shop local, that money keeps that business you love alive, the staff who live locally employed and your own business with potential customers. Right now, it has never been more important.
This cost of living crisis will subside in time and we will will recover. Let’s just hope our high streets don’t lose any more great local businesses as a result.
If we make the effort to shop locally, they stand a better chance!