Businesses urged to shop local to boost small-town economies

It’s no secret. Shopping local and using independent businesses instead of larger commercial organisations is vital if we want to see our small-town economies grow and flourish.

Anton Gunter, Global Freight’s managing director, makes a strong case for why everyone should support local…

The phrase “Local is Lekker” is a popular saying and theme in South Africa – Lekker being the Afrikaans word for nice, very nice, or better.

However, here in the UK we do not always see value in using local companies, or indeed local products. The rest of the world do a much better job of it than we do.

Very often, investing in local services or purchasing local products is seen as the more expensive option.

Take your roast dinner for example. You’ll no doubt find New Zealand lamb far cheaper in the supermarkets than Welsh lamb despite the latter being reared and butchered almost right on our doorstep. The quality of that local lamb will of course be superior to anything that has travelled thousands of miles on a lorry!

It’s a similar scenario in the service industry. We know as a local freight forwarding business that we are head and shoulders above many of the larger outfits, yet many companies prefer to use their services simply because they are cheaper.

We frequently hear the words “we have had a quote and they are cheaper”. Yet these same companies bemoan the cheaper services they then receive.

Those customers which have chosen to use Global Freight Services rather than a cheaper, alternative service, know that when they buy our services they are getting experience, top quality customer care and best of all a single point of contact from start to finish.

We use several courier companies in our daily work with clients and we know which companies provide the best service when things go wrong. We certainly don’t always buy on price because when something goes wrong, we want peace of mind that a solution will be found quickly and that isn’t always the case when you’re dealing with big businesses.

We all know that feeling; we think we have secured a great deal and a little down the road we fully understand why it was so cheap. Sometimes it’s just better to save the hassle and invest a bit more heavily in the first instance.

The phrase ‘Local is Lekker’ doesn’t just apply to quality of service either. It’s hugely important when it comes to building solid business relationships.

It is so much easier to deal with a local supplier when things get difficult or someone needs help understanding, or something as simple as making sure paperwork is correct.

It’s this part of Local is Lekker which invariably goes wrong when new people come into the business and no longer see the value in local. Relationships built over a few years are broken down for the sake of buying cheaper services and or products.

Luckily, there are a lot of companies and customers out there that do see the value in local, particularly here in Shropshire, and that’s why our economy is thriving.

So, next time you’re looking to review your products or suppliers remember ‘Local is Lekker’.

And, if you ever need of a trustworthy, experienced and knowledgeable freight-forwarder, you can be assured that we’ll stand by the meaning of the phrase!