We recently spoke to Sean and Fiona Caruana co-founders of The Lifestyle Card, a business that is keen to support the local community through a loyalty card for Winchester independent businesses, which encourages people to spend locally and help their community to thrive. Here’s Sean and Fiona with their views on how Winchester can thrive by staying local…
With the changing nature of town centres, the future is local. By supporting local, the community creates demand for products and services. It nurtures a dynamic critical mass that draws people in and ultimately increases footfall in that area. The spread of the global pandemic has undoubtedly affected the economy. We cannot stop this, but we can make a choice with our money to help local economies stay afloat and give small businesses a fighting chance to rebound from this.
In terms of local businesses, the impact is even more obvious. When you shop locally, your money stays in the community and helps local development.
A healthy presence of small business in communities not only creates local employment but also helps people learn on-the-job business skills, empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs.
In addition, local businesses tend to hire local such as builders, carpet fitters, solicitors, accountants and insurance brokers to help them run the business. They are also likely to stock locally sourced products, building relationships that help the whole business community prosper.
An increase in support for local business helps drive up the appeal of the shopping area and attracts tourism into the community. The effect has a positive impact on adjacent hotels, restaurants, and local attractions.
Small businesses, especially retail stores, are often major contributors to the heart of a community, and working together with local organisations and local government, they collectively create and preserve the character of their town.
We both personally think Winchester as a quaint city with an array of lovely shops and restaurants. Fiona having worked in the city for many years, enjoyed the local amenities and all Winchester has to offer. We both enjoy eating in the local restaurants and have spent many enjoyable evenings in Winchester. With its beautiful range of tourist attractions and one of the grandest cathedrals your likely to see its always been a place we enjoy visiting and our place to go with visitors from overseas, packed full of history and beauty.
Although Winchester is no more immune to the hardships than any other town centre faces, it does have an abundance of independent businesses to attract footfall to help ride out this period of uncertainty and achieve some much needed stability.
Do you agree with Sean and Fiona? Tell what you think Winchester needs over the next 10 years via our poll or via email. Join the conversation via our social media channels. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.