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Thought for 2020

IF YOU WANT CUSTOMERS TO SUPPORT YOUR SMALL BUSINESS,
AS A BUSINESS IT’S PROBABLY A GOOD IDEA FOR YOU TO DO THE SAME. READ ON FOR THE TOP REASONS WHY SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND ENTREPRENEURS IS GOOD FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY AND YOUR BOTTOM LINE.

In recent years, there’s been a movement that encourages consumers and businesses to move away from large, one-size fits all retailers and service providers, introducing them to the people doing business in their very own areas. These are often local product providers, service providers, farmers and craftsmen with items made locally and sold on a small scale. Small businesses often advocate for consumers to buy local, and it seems to have caught on – research conducted by Roy Morgan shows that almost 90% of Australian consumers regularly shop locally, citing reasons including convenience, customer service and support for a circular economy. It’s no secret that these purchases can go a long way towards growing communities and creating jobs, but when it comes to the needs of a business, are we practicing what we preach by making business-to-business (B2B) purchases locally, benefiting our own local small business community?

Leading Cairns Economist Bill Cummings says, “Purchasing locally is good for the local economy, and the flow on is very clearly observable. Local businesses in turn are more likely to purchase their inputs from local suppliers. Employees of local businesses are more likely to spend their wages and salaries locally. Thus, purchasing locally will set up what is variously termed as ‘multiplier’, ‘flow-on’ and ‘indirect’ effects in the economy.

“It is more
likely that
in this process, direct
benefits can come back to
the person or business that
made the original expenditure,”
Bill continues. “Certainly, benefits of the ‘multiplier’ effects in strengthening the local economy and revenue base can come back in
the form of better local government services, education, health, sporting and cultural facilities. If you build up the strength and skills of local businesses and service providers, there can be a further effect of them being able to compete for and bring in business from outside the region.”

These sentiments are clearly backed up by studies showing that small retailers selling to other local businesses results in community reinvestment, job creation and giving back. When B2B purchases are made within local businesses, more than twice as much money is kept in the local economy as B2B purchases made at national chains. And when a consumer supports local business owners, they enjoy benefits that can’t possibly be achieved from shopping at national chains, including positive customer service and the knowledge that your business is making a positive step in reinforcing the unique character and prosperity of your local area.

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