You can’t help but notice the number of closed shops on Bow Street. As lovely a town Langport is, it is slowly dying. Without the support of its residents, it will soon look like many other small towns across the South West.
What can you do to help? Support your local shops as much as you can. We all want to spend less money on everyday essentials. However, keeping our money in the local economy not only helps the business owners but us too in the long run. Tesco offers some value when it comes to food basics but nothing beats buying free-range chicken from Cracknell’s Farm which is just down the road. Or perhaps a wholesome loaf of bread from the local bakers’?
However you choose to support the local economy, remember keeping the high street alive means the town can attract more visitors.
The Totally Locally Langport initiative aims to encourage local residents to spend at least a fiver in local independent shops. The maths appears to add up to millions of pounds going into the local economy. Find out more about the Totally Locally idea here.
What more can businesses offer?
However, in my opinion, local businesses also need to offer more value to entice more patronage. Yes, we’d all like to support local business owners who are friends and family, but competing in price alone often doesn’t work. Indeed who can stand up to the economies of scale retailing giants like Tesco command?
Loyalty Card or Langport Currency?
Perhaps a local discount card scheme could help. The more you spend in local independent shops the bigger a discount you earn in future purchases. This creates a win-win situation for the retailer and customer.
Maybe it’s time we introduced our own local currency in homage to Walter Bagehot. Just a thought.
So next time you’re walking or driving through town, take a break and stop for coffee and cake at the Kitchen. Or why not pop into the River Parrett cafe for a full English or Artteazen for a slice of devilishly delicious gluten-free chocolate cake.
P.S I will be spending a bit more time in developing the website. I know there are other local websites promoting local businesses and we all have different ideas. I'd love to hear what website visitors think, what you come here looking for (if you don't find it tell me, perhaps it's something I will consider creating a page about).