Brits Show Support for Local Businesses

The Prince of Wales, FanboroughLocal businesses and shops — including pubs, newsagents, grocery stores, gyms and hair salons — are highly valued by British consumers, according to new research from Santander Business Banking.

The study, which asked people about the businesses in their area, found that British shoppers spend an average of £88 a week with local businesses. The report suggests that this adds up to £217.7 billion a year — nearly double that of the UK internet economy. In addition, the research reveals that consumers would like to see more useful amenities on their doorsteps — with 67% identifying at least one additional business they would like to see open near their home.

Top of the most valued amenity was the local pub (47%) closely followed by the newsagent (45%), and the local grocery store (36%). As well as traditional businesses such as bakers and butchers, consumers increasingly value other useful amenities — around one in six (16%) people identified the pound store as the business they would most like to have in their area. Other important local businesses include coffee shops, gyms and nail bars.

Robin Foale, managing director of Santander Business Banking, said:

“In the current economic climate, confidence among local businesses owners is still quite low. However, this research highlights how local businesses remain a relevant and integral part of any community. People clearly value their local amenities, spending an average of £88 per week within a 15 minute walk of their house.”

The most valued local amenities

Amenity

% who believe it most valued to community

% of people who use amenity at least once a week

Pub

47%

17%

Newsagent

45%

42%

Grocers

36%

46%

Take away/fast food

32%

12%

Hairdresser/barber shop

28%

1%

Butchers

28%

18%

Bakery

28%

22%

Car garage/mechanic

22%

1%

Charity shop

18%

9%

Coffee shop

18%

13%

Gym/leisure centre

17%

17%

Home maintenance/DIY shop

14%

3%

Pound shop

14%

18%

Dry cleaners/shoe repairs/key cutter

11%

1%

Garden centre

11%

3%

Clothes shop

9%

4%

Florist

8%

1%

Nail bar/beauty salon

6%

2%

Decorating supply shop

5%

2%

Book shop

5%

4%

Home appliances retailer

4%

1%

Party shop (fancy dress etc.)

3%

2%

Internet café

3%

3%

Copy shop

1%

3%


Ed’s note: The pub has been at the heart of the community in these isles for centuries now, so it’s no surprise that the public house is the number one local business. With so many pubs closing down in recent years, due to, amongst many factors, the policies of the owners (Where, for example, it’s more profitable to sell the old pub to property developers and build 20 flats rather than run a low-margin business for the enjoyment of the locals) it’s good news to see that the British public are supporting their local pub. (Ours is the Prince of Wales, Farnborough, pictured above – listed in CAMRA’s Good Pub Guide and winner of the Hampshire Pub of the Year for the last 5 years)

What’s more, the local freehouse is often a place where small business owners can go and make connections with other local firms, so the pub can be a hotbed of business ideas and networking.

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