As part of our theme Think Global, Act Local, Get Equal we’ve highlighted the ways that large banks and multi-national companies help to maintain a system that concentrates money in the hands of the rich, including by using tax-havens.
There are many local businesses in Birmingham, including shops, cafes, restaurants and leisure activities. As local businesses begin to reopen after lockdown, they will particularly need support to recover. Buying local helps support the community and keep a unique local character to our high streets (although with social distancing measures still in place, many have ventured online too).
Supporting independent businesses also helps to circulate money around the local economy, rather than allowing it to be siphoned off to tax havens by large corporations.
Localise West Midlands have researched how having more small businesses and local ownership leads to more:
- economic success
- people feeling included
- people taking part in local society
- local distinctiveness
There is a virtuous circle, where people feel they are more part of the local society and economy, and so are keen to take part and help make things better. Going local isn’t about being parochial, or saying ‘my city’s better than yours’. It’s about getting the best from a community where people are living and working together.
If you’re not sure where to begin finding local businesses in Brum, Independent Birmingham have a handy website where you can search for independent cafes, shops, restaurants and more. They also offer the Independent Birmingham app for £2 per month, which gets you special discounts at local shops.
PS while you’re going local, don’t forget to find out how ethical (or not) your bank is, and pledge to make your money work for good.
Photo: The Great Western Arcade, around the corner from Peace Hub, is home to a variety of independent shops.