In the UK, how we buy products and services is always evolving, and during the pandemic we were forced to buy more online and from larger retailers. Now that local businesses are up and running again, it’s more important than ever to return to our communities for products and services. It not only benefits our wallets, but the planet and our communities too.
Home renovations, redesigns and decorating is huge business. It can be overwhelming and mistakes can be made, that’s why it’s particularly important to look to your local community when working on a project around your home. Here are five reasons why.
Research by local authorities found that for every £1 spent with an independent retailer, 63p is retained within the local area, compared to just 40p when spent at a larger, national retailer. Buying services and products for your home, like furniture, plants, kitchen cabinetry, stone worktops or floors, crockery and decorative pieces, from local businesses will support the economy of your community. A prosperous neighbourhood improves service provisions like schools, hospitals, restaurants and pubs, and makes our community a unique place we want to spend time in.
Keeping local businesses alive improves employment rates in your area. It also helps youth employment as many young people begin their careers in independent, local businesses. This can be particularly important in businesses related to home renovations, where young people can access apprenticeships and experience with local electricians, stone masons, carpenters etc.
Quality products and services
Local businesses may not be able to compete with the range of products large retailers’ stock, but they are able to offer quality and bespoke products and services, along with more personable customer service. You will have more opportunity to handpick materials, for example the exact slab of marble you want for your kitchen worktop, use bespoke measurements and add personal touches.
Deals to be had
We can sometimes associate local with more expensive, and in some cases that can be true because of the quality, bespoke nature of the product or service. However, many local businesses are open to discussions about prices, may be able to offer alternatives and might have discounts for local people.
Better for the planet
Independent businesses often pride themselves on sourcing materials locally or sustainably, and are more likely to use sustainable practices, like being powered by renewable energy, paying staff fairly, and using plastic free packaging. Buying local also means less travel.
Coulon Stone is an independent business who has been providing people in Bucks and Oxfordshire with stone surfaces in their homes and businesses for 30 years. We are a ‘Low Carbon Workspace’, proud to be powered by solar. For information or advice about your stone project, please get in touch by visiting www.coulonstone.com