Hello, lovely! Thank you for finding your way to another of my blog posts; it’s so nice to have you!
This week I want to talk about why it is so important to support small local businesses, in particular: artists. In an increasingly globalised world, it can seem like there isn’t really much point in supporting local businesses when it can be so much cheaper and easier to shop with the big retailers. There is, however, a growing movement in local support for local businesses. Within communities across the globe, more emphasis is being placed on local farmers, artists and producers as both significant members of and contributors to those communities. Grab a cup of your favourite beverage and let me tell you why small businesses are so important.
Buying local is better for the environment. When you purchase products made, created or grown in your own community as opposed to items from big retailers or supermarkets, you drastically reduce the travel miles on those products. Products produced in other countries have to be shipped into your community and these miles all add up, which is not good for climate change, especially when it can be completely avoided. For example, a bag of apples coming from Chile to the UK will travel roughly 7254miles (11672km), which can produce over 2000kgCO2 or more than 700kg of carbon, depending on the method of transport. For a bag of apples, which can easily be produced in the UK, this seems ridiculous.
You can improve your local community when you support local businesses. When you source local products and services, the local economy is improved because more money stays within the immediate community. In one study, researchers found that “for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remained in the city while only $43 of each $100 spent at a chain retailer.” Small businesses also often support local community enrichment events such as summer fairs which are great fun and a chance for the whole community to come together. Therefore by shopping locally you also support your local community’s development and empathy towards one another. In addition to this, small businesses add a certain special quality to your community and make it unique when compared to every other town in the world. Who wants chain coffee when you can go to that cute coffee shop down the street? We all know examples of towns that are really quaint and have a lovely atmosphere because of the types of small businesses that are present; for example, pretty much every town and village in Scotland.
Local businesses allow for closer relationships between staff and customers, often with a more personalised approach. Small businesses have the opportunity to become a celebrated part of local communities in a way that bigger corporations just can’t achieve. Communities often mourn the loss of favourite local businesses that have been forced to close down. By supporting local businesses, you also get a much better quality of customer service, sometimes even with personal greetings. Larger corporations are forced to follow strict customer service scripts which can often feel as though you are communicating with a robot. Small businesses can afford the time and care needed to establish rapport with individual customers, and this means you get better customer service. Small businesses are also far more enjoyable for staff to work for because they are valued as an individual asset and team-member and not just another cog in the profit system.
In terms, specific to artists, support from local communities is invaluable. Most of my business has been generated through word of mouth, from people sharing my artwork with their friends and families. Local artists are also able to use their art for the benefit of local communities, either by popularising issues important to the community or by promoting the community to the outside world. Artists are often inspired by their surroundings and so any art produced by a local artist will reflect the community around them. Artists are also able to work towards the collective memory of a community. For example, a statue of the Duke of Sutherland sits atop Ben Bhraggie near Golspie in Scotland; this statue is often seen in a bitter light within the local community because of the history of the Highland Clearances of which the statue constantly reminds - a history which is shared and considered important to remember.
As Leo Tolstoy said, “Art is the activity by which a person, having experienced an emotion, intentionally transmits it to others.” Artists share their heart and soul through their work; they share what is important to them and what is important to everyone. Artists and small businesses are a significant component of any community and it is important to support them as much as possible, for these reasons and so many more.
If you would like to support me, a small artist with big dreams and a hungry pupper, here is a few ways you can:
- Purchase my artworks and products - either through my shop or redbubble.
- Sign up to support me on Patreon – you get monthly prints and postcards as well as behind the scenes shots.
- Follow, like and share my content – I have tons of content including blog posts, youtube videos and instagram pictures; Ccorinnef has grown entirely through word of mouth and I am so thankful to everyone who likes and shares my artwork!
- Commission a painting or drawing – get a personalised piece of artwork from me to you!
- Shop on Amazon through my Affiliates links – I am an Amazon Affiliate which means that if you purchase anything through my links I earn a very tiny commission on each sale, it doesn’t cost you any extra.
Thank you so much for your love and support.