You might hear a lot being said about supporting the local economy and the importance of that from the perspective of an increasingly globalized market. But what does that mean, in normal people speak? And more importantly, what are some easy ways to support your local economy here in Africa?
Don’t worry, this article won’t go deep into deep finance as you read it, but rather it will explore some tried and proven methods of supporting the local economy.
1. Choose small stores
While you might be used to buying from large chains that have their main offices in other countries, now is the time to shop at the small businesses nearby. By changing where your family buys clothes, for example, you can help a small operation pay their store rent next month.
For those businesses that do not have any cash reserves, they need your help more than anyone. Perhaps your purchase locally means more than you realize when you leave the place with an item in hand.
While it can be fun to go to the mall, bear in mind that you are likely supporting a big international business when you buy from a well-known brand there. They likely don’t need your money as much as the small stores that only have one location here.
The quality of the products and services is typically high from businesses that are well-known locally. You can feel good about helping the economy by choosing to spend your money on what they produce or offer in the area you live in, whether it is kitchen accessories, corporate gifts, coffee, or something else.
On the other hand, each item you buy from an international brand takes a little from a local manufacturer. So, the next time you need a pair of shoes or basically anything else, consider your local options before going to the mall. The chances are good that there is a small merchant that offers it, perhaps even at a lower price.
2. Support cultural events nearby
Yes, it’s great fun to go out at night, whether to see a play or attend a music event or so on. But the sad truth is that a lot of folks would rather see a famous international artist rather than a local one, once again putting money in a foreigner’s pockets and starving the economy.
So, try to cheer on local performers when it is safe to do so. Africa is well-known for its cultural diversity, so let’s celebrate it! Flower shows, music festivals, and more can be highlights to the day.
3. Buy things for your home from local businesses
Renting helps to support the economy as you’re paying rent to a local person. If you’re searching for rental properties in Nigeria, for example, you can find houses for rent in Abuja conveniently online.
When it comes to how you furnish the place, look first at local merchants for furniture and decorations. By choosing businesses close by where you live, you help them to stay open and can easily get them home, too, as it’s not a far distance away from you.
4. Leave a review
When you have a good experience eating out or doing another activity locally, do you leave a review on social media or let the business know about it? A few words to the business owner can help motivate them to keep going during a hard day.
Online reviews are great ways to support a local business too. Research shows that 40% of the South African population is active on social media in 2020; that is about 22 million people. If a place you bought from had great customer service, then share your feelings about it on social networks to help promote the business.
To help Africa now and in the future, it is important to support local establishments whenever possible. Do a little research when you need or want a product or service and try to identify a local business that offers this service. Try to go to them rather than opting for a larger, international company.
This also goes for when you’re shopping at the supermarket. Try to keep an eye out for products farmed or manufactured within the country, rather than outside of it. It might not seem like a lot, but think of it this way: If one person buys locally-produced milk, nothing happens. If 100 people buy locally-produced milk, then demand for said product increases, and the economy gets a little stronger. That is a positive result that benefits everyone within the country.