How can we plug those leaks? Why we should Buy It Locally
This is the final part of a series exploring the Leaky Bucket that is our local economy (read part 1 and part 2). In this part, we offer some suggestions on how everyone (individuals, businesses and local councils) can help to improve the local economy of Wheathampstead by buying locally and plugging the leaks.
Whenever we spend, we can choose where and how we spend: locally or remotely/online; in an independent business or a large chain; with a local trader or a large building firm.
Obviously, we can’t buy everything in Wheathampstead but please take a moment to think about what you bought in the last month. Then look at this diagram and ask yourself, “Could I have made any of my purchases closer to home, i.e. closer to the middle of the Spending Circles?”.
Remember the Leaky Bucket?
When we spend our money far away from Wheathampstead, then it has all leaked out of the bucket. When we spend our money moderately far away (including money spent in chain stores) then some of it has leaked out of the bucket. But when we spend our money in a local independent shop or local privately-owned business then the Local Multiplier Effect means our money has benefited the local economy several times over.
Plugging the leaks
How can individual residents plug the leaks?
Before you buy anything, ask yourself “Is this product or service available in Wheathampstead? Can I spend my money closer to Wheathampstead?”
Instead of meeting friends in Harpenden or St Albans for a meal out, why not use one of our local restaurants and bring your friends into the village where we have a great selection of eateries?
When making an online purchase, why not do a Google search to see if the same product is available locally?
How can local businesses plug the leaks?
When local businesses work with other local businesses it creates lasting business relationships in addition to the Local Multiplier Effect. We have over 300 businesses in Wheathampstead Parish but most of them are not on the High Sreet so they are not so visible and are hard to find. So, as a local business, whenever you need to purchase services from another business, please search locally first. The Window On Wheathampstead (WOW) Directory at our website below is the best place to look.
How can local councils plug the leaks?
Parish, District and County councils have a critical role to play in supporting the local economy. They make many of their purchasing decisions based on economies of scale so there is centralised purchasing from large corporates. Nevertheless, there are opportunities to buy locally and we encourage councillors and officers at all three levels of local authority to look for local service providers first.
When choosing where and how to make a purchase, aim to spend your money nearer to Wheathampstead and bring lasting benefits to our local economy.