Small businesses are a very important part of the economic development of an area. It is part of our responsibility to contribute to their survival, as this will help to generate wealth and employment in your neighborhood,
Next, we will tell you why it is so important to support local shop.
During the confinement, many neighborhood stores had to lower their shutters. However, after the confinement, 10% of the stores that lowered their shutters during that period have not reopened.
Small businesses are the most vulnerable productive fabric in any crisis. Just look at the data after the pandemic.
According to data from the retail trade index, the large chains recovered their pre-COVID-19 sales levels. In contrast, the situation of small chains continues with a level of activity 13% below the 2019 average.
As small businesses experience a greater drop in sales, they are in greater need of liquidity, so they tend to fall into insolvency. In addition, they have greater difficulty in accessing lines of credit and financing.
74% of the companies in Spain have less than six workers, so we can say that most companies in Spain are small. Likewise, it is the stores, bars and small neighborhood businesses that hire the most workers.
It is surprising that, although they generate the most employment, they are the ones that suffer the most from the crisis as they are unable to compete on equal terms with the large supermarkets.
Likewise, small shops are a fundamental part of neighborhood life for several reasons:
Shopping at neighborhood stores not only brings benefits to the local economy of the area, but also has benefits for the shopper:
It is easier to know the origin of the products you buy. Local merchants source products from the area, so you will also be helping to improve the local economy.
You can save time and money on travel, as they are proximity stores where you can go on foot without having to use public transport or a car, which is also more polluting.
The people who work in a small neighborhood store are specialists in the products they sell, so they will have no problem advising you on how to make your purchase satisfactory.
As we have said before, small stores cannot compete on equal terms with large supermarkets.
It is often said that everything is more expensive in small stores or that you can find more products in large supermarkets. But if you stop to think about it, the products sold in neighborhood stores are a little more expensive because they are of higher quality, plus the personalized treatment of the seller adds an important added value.
We know that large supermarkets have a fairly advantageous situation compared to neighborhood stores. However, we can find some differences that will make you rethink where you end up buying:
Do you know where the money goes?
We know that the money spent in local shop circulates in the neighborhood, thus improving its local economy. On the other hand, much of the money you spend in the big stores leaves the region immediately.
Where does the product you buy come from?
It is estimated that the products sold in large supermarkets travel an average of 3,000 kilometers to reach the supermarket shelves. However, small stores carry local produce, grown and manufactured locally.
Kilometer-long products have a negative environmental impact that can be reduced by providing incentives to buy local.
Can you order products?
If you can’t find the product you need in your neighborhood, you can ask the vendor for it. The owner of the local store is much more likely to respond to your requests than the manager of a large supermarket.
Also, after knowing these differences and taking into account that neighborhood stores generate employment, boost economic growth and improve the image of your area, where do you prefer to shop?
Considering that local commerce is a valuable economic resource in the life of a neighborhood and that they are also the ones that have more complications to survive in the long term, we must do our bit to help them, especially the stores located in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Slums do not have any valuable economic resources to boost their economy, except for their surrounding stores. For a neighborhood to become richer we have to improve its economy and increase the circulation of money in the area.
Comunitaria has created a social currency that benefits local commerce in the poorest areas and also helps the most vulnerable people to be able to buy in the stores in their area. This is an advantage for both groups.
Our social currency is a digital currency that circulates in the neighborhood through the donations that Caritas makes to people in extreme poverty.
These donations are used to make pre-purchases of fresh produce in the neighborhood stores and then digital checks are distributed and redeemable in those stores.
Thus, the money from the donations enters and circulates in the neighborhood, benefiting the local economy.