The Importance of Supporting Local Business
One year in and I have worked with some extremely talented and ambitious people in the area, all striving to make their services the best they can be. I have developed a great relationship with all my clients and discovered that Cumbria has an incredible amount to offer.
After speaking to these clients, and local companies in the area, I felt the need to write a blog detailing the advantages of supporting the local economy, and why it is such an amazing place for independent business. So here are my top 5 reasons why it is important to support independent business in Cumbria:
1. Local EmploymentLocal business offers employment for people in the area, that's a given! However, according to Furness Tiles owner Joe “a local company that turns over the same as a plc branch that offers the same service on average has 20% more full time employees and pay better wages”. Independents understand that the quality of service is important, so keeping happy staff transcends into happy customers. Which brings me onto my second reason…
2. Quality of ServiceIndependent businesses offer a personal service like no other. They have a sense of pride and always tend to make customer satisfaction their number one focus. Kysty owner, Gemma Blackburn, says “Small business owners often take huge pride in their business and the local area, working hard to ensure they are well kept AND that they foster good relationships with their customers. They can be relied upon as they live among their customers! It's only by supporting these local independent businesses that we will ensure their survival.” More often than not, these independents specialise in their chosen field, rather than spreading themselves thin. They know what they are doing and willing to offer their knowledge and/or skills to their customers.
3. Builds CommunitiesBecause local businesses live within the area, they want to support other business and local initiatives. Often they use local suppliers and support local charities. Kysty in Ambleside support charities through raffle prize donations and local community groups such as The Ambleside Christmas Lights Committee. Furness Tiles support countless sports men & clubs and donate lots of money to local charitiess and causes.
These types of acts from local business are what our communities are built on and what makes Cumbria so unique.
Additionally, it is the local independent businesses that give a town its own unique flavour. As Barrow BID Manager Colin Garnett says, “Local businesses are the heartbeat of a community. They are run by local people for local people and any profit usually goes back into the business or the local economy.
4. Brings UniquenessIndependents offer variety and a uniqueness you can’t get from large chains. Cumbria is full of choice and originality we can be proud of, and it all stems from small businesses that shape the feel of the county.
5. Supporting Local EntrepreneursLocal entrepreneurs are what bring new and exciting opportunities to Cumbria. By supporting these people we are supporting the growth and development of the community. Kysty owner Gemma and Ryan Blackburn gave some amazing advice for any up and coming business in Cumbria:
“Think local - your regular, local customers will be the bread and butter of your business. Work with other businesses in your locality - don't view them as the competition but as your allies - find your own niche and work to complement one another. Share resources/ advice/ build community projects. This is all great publicity for your business and helps to build good relationships. But don't stop there - make your business attractive on a national and international scale; be ambitious! Cumbria attracts lots of tourists and business interest from all over the world, and in this digital age there are no limits on a successful, ambitious business!”
A big thank you to the Barrow BID, and clients Kysty and Furness Tiles for offering their insights on the subject.
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