To coincide with the launch of Local Business Week a few weeks ago (16th – 22nd May), research* revealed that 66% of people feel that local businesses add value to their community, with over half (51%) claiming they enjoy having the option of shopping with a local business rather than well known high street names.
Small and medium-sized companies account for 99.9 percent of the UK’s businesses and a combined annual turnover of over £3 billion. They are a crucial part of the country’s economy and their success and survival depends on everyone – this was shown with the survey as 54% felt it is important to utilise local businesses, whether that be using a local trade company or buying produce from a local butcher.
The research of 250 small business owners, conducted in light of Local Business Week, found that despite some perceptions of big names ruling UK towns and cities, small business is in fact big business.
Local Business Week has been running for over a decade, with the recent business rate boost in this year’s budget announcement, support is now more relevant than ever in the UK.
The research discovered that 66% of us feel that local businesses are able to compete with bigger and established household names. A further 92% think they can provide value for your money, banishing misconceptions that shopping locally can often put a strain on your purse strings.
Organiser of Local Business Week, Adam Cox said: “In Local Business Week’s eleventh year, it is more important than ever to ensure that people are doing what they can to support local businesses. This evident shift in people’s perceptions is really important – as it really is better for the community to shop locally, as previous research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has shown – for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business, 63p was re-spent in the local area compared to 40p with a larger business. In an age of internet shopping obsession, Local Business Week shines a light on the local businesses that bring immense value to the UK.”
Although the research shows a great improvement in people’s perceptions, there are still things to be done when it comes to people shopping more locally. Five in ten (55%) would still prefer to buy produce from a high street store and 38% said that they regularly use services provided by local businesses in their area. However as people’s thoughts begin to change, local businesses will continue to be kept afloat.
Local Business Week
Small and medium-sized companies account for 99.9 percent of the UK’s businesses and a combined annual turnover of over £3,000 billion. They are a crucial part of the country’s economy and their success and survival depends on us all.
Local Business Week is an annual campaign encouraging the public to buy more from their local businesses as well as giving local business owners access to advice and resources they can use to compete with the big guys.
When Local Business Week launched, we did so with the intention of raising public awareness about shoppers staying local for the week, and also amongst SME owners of the support and guidance that existed for them in a digital age, especially when it came to technology and how they might go about finding valuable new customers whilst keeping hold of their ‘regulars’ too.
For further information please visit: www.localbusinessweek.co.uk
* Research was conducted for Local Business Week via Vital Statistics online panel, with 250 UK small business owners in May 2016.