Back in January 2012 when Tony Robinson OBE and I launched Enterprise Rockers C.I.C. I pledged to shop with micro businesses and independent businesses whenever I could for both business and personal requirements. About 85% of my spending is done with independent businesses. We are very lucky in my home town of Scarborough to have a fantastic independent supermarket, Proudfoot, this makes a big difference to the amount of money I spend regularly with those businesses that are not multiples, high street chains or corporates. The percentage is skewed slightly as Aldi sell a fabulous Prosecco for £5.79 a bottle, believe me life is too short to drink bad bubbles!

Shopping with micro and independent businesses makes not only a huge difference to your local economy but also to your whole shopping experience. We all have busy lives, I know that only too well, but shopping with business owners who get to know you is such a fantastic social experience it makes the tedious task of shopping far more pleasurable.

Back in 2013 the FSB & Centre for Local Economic Strategies released a report that showed how shopping with micro, small or medium sized businesses saw more money respent in a local area than if spent with larger businesses. For every £1 spent 63p was respent if originally spent in micro, small or medium businesses, if spent in a larger business this was only 40p.

I do not believe those statistics are shared enough by Government and Media. I would be very keen to see a report like this annually by every local area council across the UK to show how this spending increases and decreases, looking at the factors that affect the trends. It cannot be a one size fits all across the land as area’s affluence, economies and employability levels vary greatly. The money in people’s pockets can vary greatly in the smallest of counties.

Campaigns such as Totally Locally, Small Business Saturday UK, a campaign I have been an Ambassador for since it launched in 2013, along with other Shop Local and Shop Independent campaigns help to highlight the benefits and beauty independent businesses bring to a place.

For me, a self appointed independent business Ambassador, it is important we support these businesses and promote them all we can, after all over 5 million people are micro business owners making up 95% of the UK business population, that’s without including the small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) who boost it further.

At #MicroBizMatters HQ we have promoted our #Indie25ER campaign for some years now, encouraging people to spend 25% of their shopping budget with independent businesses. If each micro business owner in the UK pledged to do this throughout 2018 it really would make a huge difference to the economy of the community where they live and that of our nation as a whole.

If you New Year’s resolutions are your thing then I encourage you to make one of them that you will become an #Indie25ER

Featured image courtesy of Small Business Saturday UK. The guy in the photo with the fruit and vegetables is Colin from All Seasons in Scarborough Market.

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