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Ten Good Reasons to Shop Locally

Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) is a delivery partner for the 2nd Essex Local Area Agreement 2008-11 with a responsibility for Local Indicator 5.1 'Access to Services'. As a result RCCE proposes to focus its efforts on a specific range of services that it considers most essential in a rural context as well as raise awareness and help develop a promotional campaign to support local services. As a result the '10 Good Reasons to shop locally' campaign has been created to help RCCE encourage residents in rural Essex to support their local shops and services.

1. Local stores are more likely to carry locally sourced goods and products.

Studies have shown that small independent local stores are likely to use more local suppliers and have a significant multiplier effect on the local economy.

2. Shopping locally reduces my carbon footprint.

The transportation of food is one of the biggest contributors to co2. Buying UK produced fruit and veg rather than those apples that have travelled half way around the world to make it to the supermarket shelf can help reduce your food miles. And don't forget that nearly a quarter of all car journeys are less than 2 miles in length. Next time you make a short journey to the local shop, think whether you could walk or cycle instead.

3. It can save both time and money, when you take other factors, such as travel and parking, into account.

Out of town shops have done a good job of convincing us all that sole traders are expensive, but the evidence just isn't there to back this up. If you add in travel, parking costs, fees to transport larger items home and your time, the overall cost is often much higher.

4. Shopping locally supports jobs and the community.

When you buy local, you'll be helping to shield Essex from the effects of the recession, bringing lasting benefits to our community. Your next purchases can support local businesses - please consider the local options first, whether it's your weekly food shop, a gift, a major purchase or the services of a builder, plumber or hairdresser.

5. Local business owners invest in the community and have a vested interest in the future of our community.

Businesses create jobs, employ local people, generate wealth and are the driving force behind any successful economy.

6. Shopping locally promotes a vibrant, healthy, prosperous and diverse local economy.

We recognise all of our rural shops and services are important as a focal point within our communities. They not only provide diverse shopping opportunities but also promote civic pride and ensure all our rural communities not only survive but also thrive. Quote Main Marketing and PR Co.

7. Local shops are accessible to all - particularly elderly, vulnerable and young people, or those without transport.

Most people can get to their local shops easily and this is especially important for elderly, vulnerable and young people and those without transport. Keeping your shops open by buying locally helps the whole community.

8. Shopping locally saves services and helps preserve a range of public, private and voluntary services.

Private, voluntary and public sector services cluster around shops. The loss of the market town high street often corresponds to a reduction in these services. As shops disappear so do hairdressers, vets, dentist etc. Quote Main Marketing and PR Co.

9. Local shops offer a distinctive shopping experience provided by independent, often innovative, traders who respond to customers needs.

Evidence from numerous surveys shows people receive better customer care and service in local shops. Traders survive by their reputation and repeat business - so shopping locally means that you get a higher standard of service. Local traders will know the shoppers personally and will often offer to meet individual requests.

10. Shopping locally enables people to socialise and feel part of the community.

People don't like losing shops and services in small towns and villages but don't equate this to how they spend their money. Shops will only survive if customers spend locally - so if you want a vibrant town centre or village, where people can socialise as well as shop, we need to encourage people to shop locally. Quote shop smart shop local.