Here in East Sussex, there are multitudes of various different local businesses thriving from village to village, showcasing unique goods and services that simply can’t be found with the same level of personality in major, mainstream shopping business chains.

Despite this flourishing level of interesting local culture available to support in our area, there is still an attitude among a number of locals that smaller businesses like these, such as farm shops and cafes or homemade gift shops, are unnecessarily expensive – some people, upon observation, have the opinion that to save money, they should be replaced with bigger, more familiar services such as a McDonalds in Heathfield high street instead of a small family-run restaurant, or a Primark in Uckfield instead of a non-profit secondhand clothes store.

Many people are unaware that while local businesses can often be relatively slightly more expensive than bigger national or global brands’ products, they serve as a monumental asset to local communities and have benefits in an abundance of ways.

For example, studies have proven that independent local businesses improve the economy of the local area they reside in, and significantly more money stays in the community instead of being handed back to already mega-rich major corporations – this is due to the tendency of local businesses to buy from suppliers of goods like ingredients and materials that also reside locally, and their likely incentive to support other local businesses.

Having locally owned businesses naturally means having business owners with authentic passion and interest in helping and furthering the community as they are part of it themselves; this level of personal investment cannot be paralleled on any level by a major corporation.

As well as this, while of course there would be jobs available in a major retail store or food chain, there may be far more workers, equating to less generous pay, or simply the business owners would likely be less invested in the workers and more invested in the service they produce rather than them as people.

Working for a local business in a smaller environment, however, likely means a close and friendly relationship with bosses, more flexible hours and a more enjoyable experience when working. This is reflected in the customer service of local businesses; it is very easy to address a local company with a complaint as they are focused on their one business, instead of a national chain dealing with thousands of complaints per day.

Therefore, we should aim to fully support and appreciate our local businesses: they help to add a level of flavor and colour that can only be found here! Go out today and purchase an item from a locally owned store – you’ll be doing your community good, and you definitely won’t regret it.