Local businesses will be different in every town or city, whereas chain stores will be the same almost everywhere. Going into Lidl or Tesco you know where everything is in almost every city or town but you might never know the staff members as they tend to change fairly often. This goes the same for pubs and restaurants, staff at Wetherspoon change often but a local cafe will have the same staff over a longer period of time, and the dishes won’t change as often so you know the quality of food you will be getting.
The main concern that many people face is that chain stores such as Tesco or McDonalds are popular and everyone across the world will know the quality of food and customer service you will receive at said stores. So why support a local unknown business?
A local business will bring in more money for the community, especially if it is a small town or village. The more people who go shop in that store, the more wages the staff get and the more money will get pumped back into the town via people drinking in local pubs, and going shopping in local stores.
One thing that makes a huge difference between a small local business and a big chain store, is that should you have a complaint about something, a local business can sort that complaint fairly quickly and usually it will be resolved in person, whereas going to complain about a chain store, it can take you days, or maybe weeks to sort the problem and you may end up just being transferred to a call centre to sort your inquiry.
If your local business is a supermarket, you will find that a lot of the produce sold within the shop is sourced locally, bringing in more money for the community and more jobs for those within the town as well. Chain supermarkets outsource their produce with the majority being mass produced and packaged in factories instead of getting their produce from the farmer down the street.
You will find that a lot of the fruit and vegetables in supermarkets come from countries around the world instead of it being from the same town that you live in. This is not the case for local businesses. Small supermarkets tend to use the resources around their town to help those around them. This also makes the residents of that town more likely to come and buy from their store, as the quality of produce is more known and could potentially be better.
One huge perk of supporting a local business is that you will know the people behind the work. Going into a chain restaurant, you might know some people that work there but you may never truly get to know them; whereas in a small local cafe/restaurant you can talk to your waiters and waitresses, and maybe the owners and get to know them, especially if you are a regular.
Small local shops also keep your town different and can make you stand out from the crowd. McDonald’s might have their famous breakfasts that everyone loves, but that cafe round the corner has these amazing breakfasts that trump McDonald’s in every way. Whilst everyone gets to enjoy the breakfasts at the famous yellow arches, only those in your town get to enjoy this amazing food that you would never know about should this shop not exist or you just went to a well known branded store for your food in the mornings.
Chain stores also judge whether or not they should come to a town based upon the popularity of small businesses. If certain shops such as Subway and Starbucks have come to your town it is because they have seen that their shops will be successful, and the popularity of the towns stores have shown this.
During this pandemic, small businesses are suffering. Chain stores such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s have stayed open which although is helpful to many communities that are struggling with shielding and self isolation, is also making those small local businesses unable to open their doors for business. Supermarkets and shops which source their produce locally are unable to get everything they need for the community, which makes people turn to the chain stores to get what is needed.