Did you know shopping in small businesses has social, community and economic benefits? If you’re reading this on Family Friendly Working you probably do, so read on to find out just why small businesses are great.
Research commissioned by American Express – founder of Small Business Saturday in the US and active supporter in the UK – reveals that small shops across the country are providing £537million worth of added-value services and going above and beyond for their customers and local communities. This equates to £3,058 worth of time donated each year by the average small shop.
– Community: £537m added value services in the community –
– Social: People more sociable if they live near small shops –
– Economic: 60p in every £1 spent by independent businesses goes back into the local economy
The most common examples cited were checking in on elderly and vulnerable neighbours, lending a friendly ear or giving advice on personal matters, personally delivering products free of charge and creating or sourcing bespoke items*. With communities served by a greater proportion of independent small shops benefitting twice as much on average – £6,998 worth of added value services provided annually per shop vs. £2,956 in comparable areas with fewer independents.
Kate Hardcastle, retail expert and supporter of Small Business Saturday, said: “We’ve long known that small businesses make a big contribution to their local economies. What this research gives us for the first time is a sense of the extent to which independent small shops are investing in their local communities. They are not just selling fantastic goods and services, they also play an integral and broader role supporting local people and showing real community spirit.”