18 Sep Shop Local
‘As consumers we have so much power to change the world just by being careful what we buy.’ – Emma Watson
Gillingham High Street is home to a varied and diverse range of shops, treatment salons and eateries to name but a few categories. What is also striking is that many of them are independents with single shops or from small local companies. It is this independence that makes this town special to visitors and to the community it supports.
All businesses can boast employing local staff but not all support local families or partnerships. It is a fact that many of our High Street traders are small family-run companies or locally based enterprises. The families of the very people who provide wares, services or treatments are the ones that attend our schools, who support our swimming pool, or play rugby or hockey for our community.
By shopping local, we trigger a much bigger chain reaction than just making a shopkeeper smile. The smile may be infectious anyway and cause us to leave the shop happier. The shopkeeper will obviously be happier for you to buy from him rather than online.
There are few things that cannot be bought locally, usually specialist or obscure items that maybe would not serve as financially viable in a rural town like Gillingham. Local prices can be very competitive and the saving in delivery time, no need for returns and the kindly service you receive are all benefits to shopping local.
By shopping local money is going back into the local community. The local community is the foundation for which the wider society is resting on.
Supporting our local traders opens up job opportunities for local people. Too many people are being made redundant or face a bleak future so by creating jobs and employment for a few will only build the strength of the local economy.
Businesses have worked hard during lockdown to provide a safe and protected environment to welcome you back into their premises. The precautions have been taken seriously and although life is different from how we have ever known it the retailers are ready to welcome you in.
In the wider scheme of things when the High Street is thriving it feeds into the local economy which in turn helps feed the wealth of the nation.
We are living through unprecedented times and now more than ever is the time to support our local communities and start our economy build back to financial success.
Chamber is following government advice and not having physical networking meetings. We hope these can resume soon.