Residents in Hedon have been encouraged to support their local shops and services for some time now through a local poster campaign. However, the campaign to support local traders has received a boost through the Hull Mail’s Bounce Back initiative.
The campaign launched recently by the Mail urges residents to spend their cash in the areas that they live and work:
Buying fruit, vegetables, meat and other food produced in East Yorkshire boosts the local economy by keeping money in the area. It also benefits local food producers so they can then spend the extra income they earn on other goods and services from across the region.
The closure of local shops would force many residents to have to travel further afield for household supplies; it would limit the choice for local shoppers. The reduced local competition may encourage remaining suppliers to inflate their prices.
However can you afford to shop locally? There is a very real problem for some people in shopping locally and more ethically – the money available in the average pocket has been reduced during the recession and most people are looking for cheaper shopping. The internet in particular has allowed people to shop more cheaply from major out-of-town supermarkets.
Significantly, those on benefits have very little real choice about how and where they shop. In this regard it is heartening to see that the Bounce Back campaign is pledging to ensure people in Hull and the East Riding gain more information and advice about the benefits they are entitled to during the recession and how to claim them. By claiming the benefits that they are entitled too people can boost their personal incomes which in turn could boost local spending power. In the meanwhile, perhaps local traders might want to consider initiatives which would encourage more local shoppers such as residents’ discount schemes?
Buying locally may not be the answer to the recession but perhaps can help alleviate some of its local effects. It may also help to build a local solidarity spirit with people pulling together to help themselves and each other.
What do readers think?