Of course, people shopping local is what we want but if shouting SHOP LOCAL all the time really worked then things would be different already - towns need more than words they need action. Residents want their towns/cities to be successful, vibrant, enjoyable places to live and I think we need to be clearer when explaining all the different ways that they can help to make a positive difference.
Keep informed - too often we hear ‘Oh, I didn’t know that was going on, it wasn’t well publicised’ Make sure you are signed up for email communications and follow your town on social media.
Share posts - local businesses don’t have huge marketing budgets so you can really help them by sharing their messages. The same goes if you see that the town is trying to promote something. Using our own individual networks we can help amplify and promote our local businesses to a whole new audience.
Town and City Gift Cards - instead of buying an Amazon Gift Card, buy someone a Town/City Gift Card (if there is one!). That way the money stays local and the recipient gets to explore their local businesses. When people go to spend their gift card they spend on average 40% more than the value they were gifted. https://www.mi-cnx.com/live-and-planned-gift-card-programme
Attend events - town/city events are about much more than spending money, they are a great way to feel part of the local community, make new connections and building civic pride.
Talk the place up - it doesn’t help when people consistently focus on the negatives. There are issues in every town, if you are concerned about them then report them directly rather than complain publicly on social media. On the flip side, find positive, become a champion.
Explore - things change, new businesses open. Have a walk round, look a little closer you never know you might find your new favourite business (if you do, tell others!)
Get Involved - if you want to help out or have some great ideas then there are lots of groups that you can join, they will be happy for your help. “Ask not...”
Shop Local - of course! Use it or lose it, businesses don’t close because of ‘the council’. They close because people don’t use them, towns are a combination of our experiences.
Have we missed any other simple messages?