Sustainability | Impact

How To Shop Local During The Lock Down

Apr 01, 2021 | Konark Ogra

Shopping has been fundamentally at the core of our financial spending for humans for centuries. Buying Local was mainstream for over 1000 years, but in the last 50 years, big box companies have been able to optimize supply chains and negotiate better rates from the biggest manufacturers, thus reducing the market share of the small business owners and local businesses. However, with the changing consumer sentiment, equitable access to the supply chains, easy access to the internet, and lower customer acquisition costs small businesses can now give competition to the large big box players.

1. Shop from the Local WhatsApp and Facebook groups: Valerie from one of the WhatsApp groups was able to reach or 100s of residents and neighbors.

Fig 1: Just browse through WhatApp to find a small family business

Fig 2: Facebook marketplace also has a lot of local small businesses. 

2. Visit Local e-farm shops and check if they deliver to residents. Various platforms have aggregated local producer suppliers. A simple online search can lead you to the local farmers’ market. This could potentially be the finest and easiest ways to help the rural economy by buying directly from the farmers, other portals like the Soil association portal help consumers buy organic produce delivered at your door’s steps. 

Community-supported agriculture (CSA) has grown massively over the past few years, with new farms springing up all over the country. Continuous economic support from the consumers helps each farm recruit members who pay a subscription and commits to taking produce for a fixed period, often a year. This gives the farm a secure stable income and makes sure the farmer gets a fair price and you get a regular supply of local freshly picked fruit, veg, and other produce. Some of the portals are mentioned below.

Fig 3: A  5 min internet search can make a massive difference to find a local farm supplier and further fuel the local economy. 

3. Use of google maps to do some market research, most businesses are listed on google. Pick and choose words for any needs. 

Fig 4: A simple google search helps consumers reach local small businesses 

4. Use of E-commerce portals like Amazon, ETSY and eBay effectively to search for the best local brands and businesses. Amazon and e-bay effectively help reach a lot of small businesses reach millions of buyers across regions.

Fig 5: Big push from the e-commerce giants to help and cater to small businesses. 

In conclusion, public-private partnerships along with consumer intent could help small business owners and employees with constructive creation of equitable wealth.  Besides, people and groups could pledge to buy from local small businesses. Most small businesses have adopted the necessary digital transformation and are now available for most consumers at their homes. At the core of buying local is not just about preserving the local economy, save jobs, or create more circular economic opportunities, but at large reserving the heart of the community, also helping save the environment.

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