Buying more of your Christmas dinner ingredients, presents and festive decorations from neighbourhood retailers could double the amount of money that remains in your local community.
For every £10 spent with a local business, more than one third of that amount (£3.80) stays within the area, research has found.
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Shoppers ‘willing to spend half their money locally’
Currently the average British shopper spends just over one fifth of their money, or £2.26 of every £10, locally, according to figures compiled by the Centre for Economic & Business Research (Cebr) for Visa. Of this, 86p is retained in the local area.
However, when consumers were surveyed about their shopping habits, they revealed that, on average, they would be willing to spend £4.98 of every £10 locally. Stepping up their local spending to this degree would allow £1.90 to remain in the local area, analysts believe.
People living in London spend the most locally, handing over £3.05 of every £10 to independent businesses near them, while those in Wales and South West England spend the least, with £1.90 of every £10 going to a business in their community, according to the findings.
Contributing to community
Over half (54%) of 2,000 consumers polled said it was important to them to shop locally because they know how much their custom means, while 43% reported experiencing a boost of happiness when they support local shopkeepers.
Nearly half (49%) of respondents believe that local businesses contribute to their community by employing local people while over a third say they make the area a nice place to live and keep the neighbourhood vibrant and buzzing. The majority of those polled (62%) said they were worried independent businesses would not survive if their local community did not back them.
Independent retailers across a variety of sectors have struggled to stay afloat this year, with national and regional lockdowns forcing them to close for months at a time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even when shops have been open, many people have avoided visiting, preferring to order goods online, often from large chain stores or ecommerce businesses such as Amazon.
The next month will be a critical period for retailers of all sizes after Black Friday kicks off at the end of this week. What began as a single day in the retail calendar has in recent years mushroomed into a weeks-long promotional event for many businesses. The England-wide lockdown, which will not be lifted until 2 December, and UK-wide Covid restrictions, are expected to drive shoppers online in greater numbers than ever before during the crucial shopping period.
“Under the lockdown in England, all products bar those available in essential stores will need to be purchased online, so online spend will undoubtedly increase substantially,” said Diane Wehrle, insights director at retail data firm Springboard.
“For bricks-and-mortar stores, particularly