THE Grafton Chamber of Commerce gives ten reasons why the Clarence Valley community should support local business and industry.
Top Ten reasons to support locals
Support other locals
Several studies have shown that when you buy from locally owned or independent businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, services and suppliers and local farms - circulating money in the local economy.
This money is in turn used to create local jobs, tailor range to customer needs and provide a better quality of individual service. Local small businesses and local franchise owners need community support to continue to exist.
Support local community groups
Charity and sport organisations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.
How much of your spend at a small businesses has ultimately contributed to the fundraising activities of your local school, church group, sporting club or fundraiser.
Keep our towns and villages unique
There are no other towns like Grafton, Maclean or Yamba, and their main streets are made up of unique eateries, shops and small businesses, which add to the distinctive character of this place and attracts tourism business.
By not supporting the small businesses, you risk homogenising these areas to chain nationals and empty shops.
Less environmental impact and better use of local resources
Locally owned businesses make more local purchases requiring less transportation and being located in the centre of a town, contribute less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
Regular supply lines with local businesses reduces "delivery lag".
Local businesses in town and village centres require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
Create more jobs and skill training
Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in the Clarence Valley, provide the most jobs to local students and residents.
The members of the Grafton Chamber are active participants in school placement schemes, apprenticeships and trainee programs.
Many local employers can point to our young achievers from our Valley and know they had a role in their formative years through employment and placements.
Owners understand business requires a long-term relationship; managers often see regional centres as a stepping stone in their career.
Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.
Small businesses usually provide better customer service, will nurture a long-term relationships with customers and offer better after-sales service because they value their local reputation.
You are more likely to get after-hours "emergency service" from someone who appreciates your business.
Invest in community
Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community and are more invested in the community's future.
They are more likely to train existing staff than replace them in order to up date skills, offer more flexibility in staff working hours and emergency time off and are more likely to participate in local activities, events and promotions for the benefit of the community.
Bricks and mortar
One of the biggest problems with buying over the internet is the lack of quality assurance, control over service or post sales support.
Shop owners invest in communities: they rent a shop, they live, bring up their children, play sports and socialise in the same community.
Their business reputation demands they develop trust and a long-term customer relationship: they will be there long after the websites have opened and closed. And you get to see, handle and ask questions about the goods before you decide to buy.
Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy
A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long term.
A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of products and better customer choices.
Encourage local prosperity
Remember why you live or moved to the Valley. In an increasingly homogenised world, families, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve a distinctive character and quality lifestyle.
No matter where you spend, please spend it with a local business. The money you earn in the Valley stays in the Valley when you spend in the Valley.