Special feature: the vital role of businesses that are good local employers

Daily Echo: You can help local economy You can help local economy

CHOOSING where to spend your hard earned cash can have a big impact on your local economy.

Shopping helps to fuel local economies, so where you spend your money counts.

Businesses that are independently- owned, create local employment and use local suppliers all play a powerful part in helping a local economy to thrive, and a thriving local economy is a good thing for all.

Not only does it make an area a nicer place to live, but means more businesses succeed. When people are better off they have more money to spend in the local economy, so the cycle of positivity goes on.

When you shop at a local business, even if it’s a national chain, you’re helping to create local employment.

And more people in our local economy having work is a good thing for all of us – it means there’s more money circulating in our local economy, less people needing support, more people able to buy things that then help other businesses to grow and so the virtuous circle goes on.

To illustrate the point, we focus on two such businesses that have been employing local people and serving the community for many years.

Bradbeers department store and Mr Whitehead’s Cider Company are both growing businesses and have a big role to play in helping the local economy to flourish by generating more employment for local people.

When you’re out and about doing your Christmas shopping this year, you have the power to choose where to spend your money so that more of the benefit stays right here in Hampshire and makes our area a better one to live in for all of us.

Adding something to the community

Daily Echo:

IT is the renowned family-run store that has employed local people for 176 years.

Today Bradbeers is bigger than ever with department stores and furniture stores at sites in Romsey, New Milton and Hedge End as well as running a removals and storage service.

While many shoppers may think its expert customer service and vast selection of products, ranging from designer cosmetics and clothes to handbags and homeware, may be comparable to the multiple high street department stores, it is run by the Davies family, who all live in Hampshire.

For director Greg Davies providing jobs for 220 people in the local area makes him proud.

“We provide employment which helps local families and boosts the local economy.

“A lot of people prefer to work for a family-run business because they like to know who they are working for rather than a faceless multinational store and we can be more flexible.

“Our employees have a sense of identity, a sense of ownership and camaraderie. And for customers seeing the local staff around the town means we become part of the community rather than people simply doing a job then leaving, travelling miles to get home.

“We attract a lot of people into the town and these people spend money both with us and with other businesses here.”

It is those shoppers that can help create local employment by supporting local companies, says Greg. Greg is determined the family business will continue to grow and provide vital employment for people in the south for generations to come.

For Greg, who also holds two town markets, fostering a community relationship and seeing the town thrive with high employment and a high footfall is priority for him.

“It’s vital. We have a strong constitution and attract a lot of people in the town therefore we will continue to grow.

“There’s no reason to think we won’t be here still employing hundreds of local people in another 176 years.”

Secret of success 

Daily Echo:

“RAISE a glass to local businesses.”

That is the message from Hampshire based Mr Whitehead’s Cider Company.

They employ up to a dozen people in the summer and their apples come from nearby Blackmoor Estate.

“All our staff live within a couple of miles and most cycle to work,” says director Angus Whitehead.

“It means a lot to them to work for a local company. In this day and age there is always pressure to get jobs and our support for local producers has a knock-on effect. Employees develop some really specialised new skills and when they see the product in the local Tesco, the Co-operatives and pubs they feel proud. It’s a nice feeling for everyone.”

Angus founded the business based in Alton ten years ago selling homemade produce at farmers markets.

Today he produces award-winning ciders, vinegars and also apple juice supplied to schools across the county.

He said: “People are really careful about parting with their money these days and supporting local businesses that employ local people makes them so much happier.

“They know that way their money stays local giving local people jobs and only keeps improving the local economy in Hampshire. It gives the county a much better standing.”

Your top firms?

Which are your top independent shops and businesses that other readers should know about?

What do you think are the benefits of shopping at independent shops and independent businesses?

Tell us how you’re supporting our #localeconomy. Comment below or @dailyecho on Twitter.

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