Over the past few years, there's been a significant shift towards supporting locally owned businesses. We've witnessed this in the craft beer industry and especially in the food industry.
Consumers have been pushing for companies to source sustainably and locally, further exacerbated by the pandemic. Over the past year, the trend for supporting local has rapidly accelerated, resulting in consumers looking to invest locally made, on-shored products.
Let's dive into it!
Initially, we witnessed supply chain disruption and material shortages which caused many businesses to look at local rather than overseas production. What quickly followed was a flurry of continued government stimulus and support programs to reduce the pandemic's impact on the economy. As the pandemic dragged on and the lockdowns continued into a second and third wave of COVID cases, we witnessed businesses we knew and loved forced to close their doors. It became evident that if we want our local businesses to survive through these challenges, they need our support.
When you support a small business, your dollars are 3.5x more likely to re-enter the local economy. As more money recirculates into the economy, it generates a more considerable impact. Therefore, it's apparent for consumers and businesses to be putting dollars into supporting small businesses.
As the trend continues to accelerate, it's essential that we, as consumers, continue to encourage businesses to support local businesses. Including, often forgotten, supply chain organizations and other services. Therefore, your business should also consider sourcing materials and goods from local vendors, manufacturers, as well as contracting local consultants, agencies and professional services.
We're seeing the rise of local companies that play to their strengths in a single local product offering while outsourcing or leaning on non-local options for all other aspects of their business during this accelerated trend. Say a grocery store wanted to call themselves "The Local Market". The Local Market markets themselves as only selling fruits and vegetables derived from local farmers. However, all signage, employee uniforms, and supplies came from overseas and causing a missed opportunity. Thus, instead of the grocery store using the notion of supporting local farmers as a brand value, it is seen as a marketing tactic.
In conclusion, to incorporate supporting local businesses into your brand or organization's value system, it needs to go beyond your product offering and ingrain that value into your company as a whole through everything it does. If more companies can accomplish this, we will see a more robust pandemic recovery and a flourishing local economy.