How shopping local can save your community

Expert Insights

The British high street is transforming in front of our eyes. What was once a cluster of independent businesses — the local butcher, baker, and grocery shop — has gradually been taken over by mega supermarket conglomerates. Most of us are familiar with this story: the introduction of a Tesco or an Asda into our local community, followed by small businesses toppling like dominoes. It can be a sad sight to witness, but not all is lost. Us Brits are famously loyal to our local communities. And although huge supermarkets often trump independent shops on price and convenience, they will never be able to recreate that sense of a close-knit community that we love so much.

Here, Flogas, LPG suppliers who offer competitive business gas prices, consider why it is important to support local businesses.


Shopping local means reduced air miles. Buying out of season fruit is often damaging to the environment as it has more than likely taken a 2,000-mile trip across the world in order to make its way onto the top of your pavlova. Purchasing from your local fruit shop, however, is almost guaranteed to reflect a short distance travelled. Likewise, because you are buying your food fresh, you often won’t get it wrapped up like a Christmas present, saving on unnecessary plastic.


It is important to support independent businesses in order to put money back into the local economy. Research has found that 63p out of every £1 is returned into the local economy when you shop at a local business, as opposed to 40p in every £1 at a larger one. You may initially think that by going to your local pub for Sunday lunch you are only spending £30. In fact, what you are doing is creating a job opportunity, which in turn reduces unemployment and increases the overall tax contribution made.

People before plastic

Personalised customer service and a good old-fashioned conversation can transform your day. Although major brands focus a significant emphasis on delivering quality customer service, the owner of a local business will often make it their mission to learn all their customer’s names. Major retailer’s stockpiles will often be based on general nationwide trends, as opposed to the needs and the wants of the customer. For local shops however, they will build their supplies in a way to cater for the everyday shoppers.


We’ve all had those moments — you buy a brand-new shirt and you look fantastic in it, you’re feeling unique and totally ‘you’, but then the bubble is burst by someone else turning up in the exact same shirt! It is no surprise that this has occurred when there is one major retail store in your town. Unlike big brands, which churn out thousands of the same generic item, a product bought locally will exist like no other. Individuality will be rife as often the owner will have used their own personal experience and skill to design it. We all hate buying presents because we are doused with fear that they already have that — not via an independent retailer.


Small shops may not rival supermarket cut-price deals, but our we really getting our money’s worth or are we just being seduced by bargains on things we don’t actually need? Realistically, when larger companies can employ strategies such as economies of scale and loss leaders, we aren’t going to expect a fair fist fight in terms of pricing, however, in the long run, are local businesses really suffering the effects of an uppercut from the supermarkets?

Impulse buys often draw us in. Big bright yellow signs pointing to a two pence reduction is enough to make us fill up the shopping trolley and we end up leaving with enough Brillo Pads to see us through to the end of the next decade. Going to separate local stores, like the bakers and butchers, we are forced to shop around — although it might take us slightly longer.

Quality should always be a priority over price — invest in things that are locally sourced and will most likely last longer. Back in 1988, Four Tops sang of a man going Loco, and in 2019, we’re suggesting you do the very same thing. As opposed to simply funding another shop owner, by supporting local businesses you are helping to establish a sense of community.