(Original article in The Scarborough Comet)
It’s always hard to explain the concept of Totally Locally, as there are so many threads. You are probably familiar with the £5 Message, but there is a lot more going on underneath that. And it’s all to do with economics – please don’t switch off, it’s not boring, honest, despite what George Osbourne would have you think.
So here is my attempt to show how it all works……
One of the things we say with Totally Locally is be a tourist in your own town. And I have to say it’s a long time since I did this. Today I had an hour in my home town of Halifax, West Yorkshire. And I decided to practice what we preach.
There are so many anti supermarket campaigns at the moment and it made me think. If the supermarket isn’t profitable shareholders would shut it down. They would leave, and the town would go back to how it was. The aisles would be empty, the staff would be twiddling their thumbs and no ready meals would be sold. It’s pure maths. If they have no profitable business they will close it and build one somewhere else.
I’m back in England, after what was a crazy time talking Totally Locally in Australia & visiting in New Zeakand, I now realise it was a bit much to try & write the trip up as I went along. The schedule I had was very hectic, and down time was pretty rare! So here’s a summary of the whole thing!
Totally Locally Chris did a recent radio interview in which he was asked, and I paraphrase, What about the X amount of ASDA jobs in the area. Won’t going Totally Locally mean people losing their jobs?
That Tenner’s Actually Worth £50. Really!
There’s a bit of maths that says if you spend £10 in a local shop that sells stuff from local producers the amount of money that goes back into your local economy can be over £50!*
Well if you imagine that when you buy a locally-made pie from a local shop, a big part of your money is passed on to the local piemaker. The shop employs a local accountant or even a decorator. In turn the piemaker who sources his meat from a local farm spends a big percentage of his money with the farmer. The farmer then spends some of his money at his local garage, the garage owner… etc. etc.
So here we are going to discuss the one thing that no one really seems to want to discuss when it comes to keeping our towns and independent shops alive… Opening Hours.
It’s a fact that times have changed. People very rarely live near to where they work. I’m very lucky, as after commuting 3 hours a day for 10 year I now have a 2 mile journey to work, which has allowed me to look a little deeper into what makes me use the shops around my work and my home. When I was commuting I didn’t use any!