OPINION

A wealth of reasons to shop locally this Christmas

Posted On 05 Dec 2021 at 1:20 pm

Now we’re into December, I’d like to wish readers a happy Hanukkah and Advent, as both started in the past week.

And as we start to prepare for holiday celebrations, buying food and presents, let’s not forget our smaller neighbourhood shops and suppliers.

Yesterday (Saturday 4 December) was Small Business Saturday. In the age of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s all too easy just to click online to a giant multinational to get your whole present list sorted.

Unfortunately, wealth generated by local people working for or buying from giant national or global retailers and businesses often does not stay in our communities.

Instead, it is extracted by distant shareholders as profits and dividends. Worse, it often ends up offshore, in tax havens.

However, having always had a creative and entrepreneurial edge in our city, we’re fortunate to have many small independent businesses – shops, restaurants, artists, builders, scaffolders … the list is endless. And our local businesses need our support.

We need to rebuild the connection between local people and the independent businesses that create wealth.

We know that locally owned or socially minded enterprises are more likely to employ, buy and invest locally.

This means that rather than taking the wealth from our city they contribute to local economic development.

Buying locally is more sustainable in reducing carbon output too, as independently owned businesses use more local suppliers, requiring less transportation and packaging.

For this reason, a programme of community wealth building seeks to promote locally owned and socially minded business, and we can all help by buying local.

Our local businesses do so much to enrich our lives and communities, while facing huge adversity in the past year.

They are struggling right now, with business rate problems and supply chain issues increasing pressure and costs.

So maybe think twice before buying from a global giant this year. Instead consider our local independent businesses, what they give to our community and what a fantastic range of goods and services are available to you in your home city.

Councillor John Allcock is the joint Labour opposition leader on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Mike Beasley Reply

    Unfortunately there’s a wealth of reasons not to shop locally. Many of these are a direct result of Green (aided and abetted by Momentum loons in Labour) policies. Exorbitant parking, traffic jams, money making cameras designed to rip off the motorist, graffiti, junkies, beggars – all welcomed in the City of Sanctuary. BHCC really is a complete and utter joke

    • Some Guy Reply

      If you want an eminently drivable but cultureless city, perhaps move to Milton Keynes or Eastbourne?

      • Hove Guy Reply

        I don’t know about MIlton Keynes, but Eastbourne is anything but cultureless. Have you not been to the Towner Gallery, The Congress Theatre or The Devonshire Park Theatre? And there are loads more interesting independent shops and art galleries than dreary old Brighton. with its so called “Cultural Centre” around the Pavilion Gardens, peopled by shouting, swearing and fighting drunks and beggars. And do you regard the hideous graffiti everywhere you look in Brighton & Hove to be cultural?

        • Some Guy Reply

          The better murals are legitimately art, though the widespread tagging is sort of annoying. I’d much rather have Brighton’s edgier style than sterile, airless, middle class nothingness.
          I do wonder if I’m fantastically lucky or other commenters here are just thin-skinned, because those descriptions don’t really match the city I see. It’s not a utopia, but it’s not 1880s Whitechapel out there either.

          • Chaz.

            Yeah but, no but.
            So you attack others who knock Brighton but take to the media waves to make sure you knock others.
            If you can fake sincerity, you have got it made.

  2. Chris Reply

    I don’t normally condone the “bash Brighton” comments on here but I have to agree with Mike Beasley. I try to avoid the big online corporations when shopping but just can’t go into Brighton town as it is such an unpleasant experience. I am more likely to drive to another town where business is welcomed. Once all the shops have gone and so has all the attendant business rates the council can blame the Tories (well anyone else really) some more for being broke.

    • Chaz. Reply

      You are backed up by a report in the other Brighton publication.
      Basically the city centre is a warzone and among the most crime ridden in England and Wales.
      We are not surprised.
      Others on here are though. Sad.

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