Lancaster resident – Andrew Hartley – urges readers to ‘support you local’.

Support your local.

Now when somebody says that it usually relates to visiting your local pub, supporting your local football team or even listening to local music. If you do any of those things then that is brilliant, nobody can fault it. However, right now supporting your local means a lot more than that and it will be even more relevant when things return to normality.

Your local farmers, market stall owners, shopkeepers and small businesses will need you more than ever when this strange era of COVID-19 and isolation draws to a close. I know that the majority of readers will have seen this mentioned many times already but it can’t hurt to tell you again can it?

It is extremely important to remember that your local fruit and veg vendors, butchers, farms and markets are run by good people who count on your support to pay their bills, bring up their children and provide for their families. Contrastingly, the major supermarkets of the country are operated by enormous corporations and board rooms. You only have to do a quick google search to see how many advantages there are to buying food and drink locally,: it drives the local economy, is often fresher, has positive impacts on the environment and it creates local jobs. That’s just a few benefits I know from the top of my head, there are plenty more.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that the biggest argument against using local stores is cost and I can relate to that. Supermarkets and big retailers can afford to give you better bargains and reduced prices and at times like this, low prices matter more than ever. My argument is that you don’t have to change your whole weekly shop habits to make a difference. I’m not trying to say you can’t go and buy your favourite treats or specific foods from your usual supermarket. It would just do a great deal of good for the local economy if more people would stop, think and maybe buy their meat from the butcher nearest to them, purchase their fish locally or even just get their eggs from the market. It is old school but it makes the world of difference and changing one little purchase habit can go a very long way.

So when this virus kindly removes itself from our lives and we get our world back, just keep your local businesses in mind, they will appreciate it more than you will ever know. However, for now, keep yourselves safe and stay positive.

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