There’s a new trend taking consumers away from large, impersonal big-box retailers and introducing them to local entrepreneurs. However, the commercial world is full of companies that offer basically identical options, so why buy locally?

Thing is, it’s hard to find anything that’s entirely unique anymore. Same brands, same big-box stores and the same products on the shelves … But when you go off the beaten track, you’ll be able to get a unique product with character. Let’s face it, a big company is going to be all about the money; they mostly care about the final profit and quality often pays the price.

Local entrepreneurs on the other hand, have something to prove. For example, when you buy from local farmers, you have access to fruits and veggies that you know are chemical free, as well as grass-fed meat, fresh eggs, and diary from cows that feast on local green grass each day. You’ll have access to a unique product that you usually can’t find in chain stores. 

Small businesses are run by people – not by boards, not by stockholders, not by algorithms. You’ll experience a different kind of care and quality in their products because their work is a reflection of themselves. They focus on the small things and on being the best they can be. They bring originality and variety to a world that’s becoming increasingly homogenized.

However, besides offering quality and originality, local small businesses creates jobs. And successfully moving towards economic recovery post Covid-19 is the responsibility of all South Africans. South Africa has, so far, managed to avoid the worst health effects of the pandemic but the economic cost, calculated at about R14 – billion a day, has been huge. Proudly South African chief executive Eustace Mashimbye told Cape Argus that supporting local businesses is more crucial now than ever before.

Did you know that according to a report by the International Finance Corporation, 60% of South Africa’s workforce is employed by small businesses and these businesses contribute 34% to the country’s GDP?

Local businesses count on our patronage in order to stay afloat. The job market is tight right now and by shopping local, you’re keeping a business going and giving people jobs. Independent businesses give cities their shape, texture, colour, and taste … often literally. By buying locally you’re directly putting money back into your own community. Local small businesses often have a smaller carbon footprint than bigger companies and you get to contribute to the realization of someone else’s dream! Amazing.

So, try to order your next meal from an individual-owned eatery rather than a global franchise. Look for companies or individuals selling locally made gifts or homeware, or buy from farmers at local farmers markets.

Also, spread the love. Small businesses rely on word-of-mouth advertising. Share your experience on social networks and suggest local small businesses to friends and family. Buy gift cards from your favourite restaurant or hair salon, and if you’re a website designer or financial whizz, offer your services free of charge.

Everyone has a role to play in turning our economy around.

Support local entrepreneurs. It’s the right thing to do.

Source: blog.mass.gov, entrepreneur.com, bizcommunity.com, branssouthafrica.com, mg.co.za, thesmallbusinessite.co.za, medium.com, iol.co.za, forbes.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.