Shop local and support South Yorkshire, says Sheffield business chief

We all know about the benefits of buying local and supporting our local high streets and independent traders. We know it’s better for the local economy to shop at the corner shop rather than the supermarket. But how often do we extend that line of thought to the businesses we run and work for? Are we using local suppliers for insurance, HR, legal services, or marketing?
Louisa Harrison-WalkerLouisa Harrison-Walker
Louisa Harrison-Walker

Do we think about the SME’s when we’re shopping around for a new supplier?

At Sheffield Chamber, we’re resolute about championing local businesses and keeping the business pound within South Yorkshire and the wider region.

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Small businesses are responsible for 60% of all private sector employment and a staggering 99% of the UK business population. When small businesses thrive and flourish, so do communities.

The shops on Crookes in CrookesThe shops on Crookes in Crookes
The shops on Crookes in Crookes

Over the past few years, small businesses have had it tough. Many pivoted during the pandemic and innovated to keep going. Others barely scraped through. Then the cost-of-living crisis began to bite and energy costs soared. Running a small business can be extremely rewarding but it can also be nerve-wracking.

There are many reasons why our first port of call should always be a local business or supplier. When I shop local, I know that I’m supporting businesses to become socio and economic drivers for our region. Whether it’s an independent city centre restaurant or a small firm of accountants, it’s reassuring to know that spending locally can double the amount of money in the local economy.

It also heartens me to know that keeping our cash in South Yorkshire whenever we can helps create jobs and support the entrepreneurs trying to get their ideas off the ground. What's more, it’s environmentally beneficial to shop local, especially when physical products are involved, as it cuts delivery miles and carbon emissions.

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As you can see, there are lots of reasons to “buy local” and that’s before I even mention the wonderful South Yorkshire welcome and personal, convenient service!

At Sheffield Chamber, we support 1000 businesses and consciously work with local restaurants and suppliers. We’re actively trying to encourage our membership to think local and buy local but that starts with evaluating supply chains and questioning where people buy business services from.

Is there a local solution? Could you make a switch? Are there benefits to buying local which you hadn’t considered?

These are questions we all need to ask ourselves as the purse strings tighten both personally and professionally.

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We go into a new year full of fresh resolutions and I’d urge one of these to be about looking out for local businesses and keeping your spend within the region where possible.

Sheffield Chamber leads the way in making Sheffield the best place to start, grow and run a successful and sustainable business and that means supporting each other.

Together, and collectively, with a few changes here and there, we can truly help our communities work, learn and grow.