During lockdown, we have been made to rethink, review and reflect on how we do business. And how we live and work in our local community.
I have seen how some (not many) small businesses have rolled over, taken the money and not really thought about the ‘what next’. But the ones that impress me are those that have grabbed the opportunity with both hands and said ‘we can’t do things in the way we always have, so we need to find another means’.
Where I live in Warwick, I have seen the smallest business owners setting up home deliveries: giving free produce and goods to those people most vulnerable and at risk; delivering meals (including full Sunday roasts!); turning pubs into community grocery shops; making their on-line presence easier to use and offering swift, personal door-to-door service. Warwick Books, Jacks Shack, The Olde Fourpenny Shop, Green Bean, Norma Jean Bakery, Mel Broome. I would like to thank them all and the many others on whom we, in Warwick, have depended and befriended.
When I saw this interview with Mary Portas – it echoed everything that I have come to realise over the last few months. People coming together to help each other. Talking to one another and finding ways to keep our communities going. It is sad that some of our local shops won’t survive, but if we carry on supporting and buying local some will thrive. They are the beating heart of our communities.
Before you hit the ‘buy’ button of an on-line retailer, stop for a moment. Please consider – who sells that near me? Remember who you called on for flour when every supermarket shelf was empty. Think about where you can buy local free range eggs along with bacon and sausages? To begin with, it may take a little longer. But think how much it will mean to our lovely nearest and dearest small independent retailers when you give them your business. Your wallet has the power to do good. Go on. Buy local. You know it makes sense.