Is local really lekker? When entrepreneurs and independent businesses are supported, they contribute to a resilient supply chain, create more employment opportunities and help stimulate the South African economy. LEAP has a closer look at the value local businesses provide.
When you buy a local product, a significant portion of that money remains in that community, and it’s reinvested to create vibrant town centres and improve local services. Additionally, local business owners tend to support other local companies, from both a personal and business perspective. For example, preference will be given to local service providers when jobs need to be outsourced and this offers growth opportunities to other entrepreneurs.
For a small business to be successful it needs to recognise a gap in the market, and this means selling a product or service where there is a need in their community. Local businesses often produce distinctive regional and cultural products and this helps to keep their community and the country unique. Product value also increases as the product is recognised as something special and different.
When it comes to doing business, people tend to choose a company where they believe they will get the best value for their money and time. While a local business isn’t always a guarantee of service levels, when an entrepreneur has made a significant personal financial investment in their own company, it’s in their best interest to provide the best service.
A local business owner who uses local suppliers will usually pay less for products and services as their transportation costs are reduced. With a healthy competition between service providers for this business, it should improve the quality, reliability and affordability of the products or services.
Local businesses that are growing, supporting each other and reinvesting their money locally, are contributing to the success of their communities. When the community thrives, more jobs are created, wages and benefits can improve, and people are attracted to live and work in the area. This contributes to reducing poverty and improving the quality of life of the local residents.
With the amended Codes of Good Practice, large companies can improve their preferential procurement points by supporting previously disadvantaged individuals to upgrade to become empowered suppliers, and by including B-BBEE rated businesses in their supply chain.
When a person buys a proudly South African product it goes beyond simple convenience. They are supporting and developing small businesses, which transform local economies by providing increased job opportunities. More jobs boost the economy, tackle poverty and assist in securing the future of the country, making local much more than just lekker.
LEAP offers support services for entrepreneurs, and has trained B-BBEE consultants to provide advisory services to companies. For more information and assistance call LEAP today on 011 449 7974 or visit www.leapco.co.za.
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