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Supporting your locals: Why it’s never been more important

Food & Drink  /  Newly Open

Times are tough. The effects of the pandemic might be receding, but the high street is by no means back to its thriving self. As living costs increase, small businesses struggle to stay afloat and bigger players attract more customers than ever, supporting independent businesses is more important now than it ever has been.

Local businesses form the backbone of the UK economy. They drive growth, create jobs and encourage innovation and fresh idea generation. And with an estimated £50 returned to the local economy for every £10 spent with indie traders, the benefits of being more mindful in our shopping habits are cle

Not only do local businesses bring more employment opportunities to the community, they’re also likely to pay workers a fair wage – which means better living standards, happier colleagues and greater productivity. Higher morale on the teams of smaller businesses also makes them the perfect source of new trends and innovations. Indie coffee shops have been leading the way for larger conglomerates for years now, and as original ideas emerge everywhere from street food to crafts, the influence of local businesses is only set to grow.

Despite what popular opinion might tell you, the best deals aren’t always reserved for online shoppers. Get savvy with your purchasing habits and you can often find better quality and value for money right here on the high street. Shopping around, asking for advice and building local connections can be the best way to find exactly what you want at the perfect price – and you’ll be giving back where it matters in the process, contributing to the growth of your local community.

Independent businesses and traders add colour and cohesion to the fabric of society. They help cement our sense of regional identity and they give us myriad ways to enjoy the wonders of the UK high street – something we should feel proud of

Promoting and supporting small and local businesses is a huge part of what we do here at Chapter 81. From highlighting indies during lockdown with our ‘Support Your Local’ magazine, to platforming smaller traders at Chow Down and continually championing the work of fresh talent through collabs, partnerships and PR engagement, we’re committed to enriching the fabric of our city through the force of the independent scene.

So next time you’re shopping, hungry, thirsty or in need of any kind of service in Leeds or elsewhere in the UK, why not think twice about heading straight to a well-known name? Or maybe even take a minute to post about your favourite local on social media? You’ll be supporting the people and businesses that make the high street what it is – and you might just have a great chat, discover something new or find a way to donate to a good cause while you’re at it.