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World MSME Day: 5 reasons why we should shop local

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It’s very easy to open an app on your phone, tap on any e-commerce app and look for items of your choice! Be it grocery, bakery, daily necessities, kitchen appliances, electronic items, clothes, cosmetics, medicines— everything can be purchased with a single tap on your phone and it gets delivered at your doorstep in no time. So many e-commerce stores like Swiggy, Zomato, Big Basket Blinkit, Zepto, Amazon, Flipkart and many others which are all trying to attract you with discount coupons and free delivery deals. Convenient isn’t it?
But what about those people who are sitting on the footpath with a handful of items, or the local grocery shop or shoe store opposite your home? Do you ever consider buying from small and medium local businesses? Do you know how your one purchase can support many families?
Small and local businesses are the backbone of any economy and India is no exception. While micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) substantially contribute to India’s economy and generate huge employment thereby taking our nation forward, but they have a fair share of challenges to deal with. MSMEs in India are fighting obstacles like rising competition from e-Commerce business, lack of credit, lack of collateral for borrowing money, insufficient Infrastructure, lack of latest technology.
World Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Day is celebrated on 27th June every year. The United Nations declared this day as the day of Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to enhance the contribution of small and medium-sized businesses across the world. On MSME Day, let us take a look into how we can shop local and support millions of families associated with Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in India.

Support the local economy

When we buy local, the money gets circulated back into the local economy, thereby supporting the local community. When the profit comes back to the local community, it increases the local people’s wealth, tax revenue and offers them a better standard of living. Small businesses play an important role in supporting the local community. Also, the tax revenue made through sale taxes from local businesses support the government, which gets reinvested in the community. Remember, only when you buy local, then the local community can grow their businesses.

Create jobs for local people

When we are buying locally made goods, we are also supporting many workers and their families who are associated with manufacturing these items. And these people are either local residents or labourers who have migrated from other cities or states of India to work in these factories. Not just men, a lot of local women are also employed in manufacturing and packaging, which supports their children, parents and other family members. This way you are supporting a child’s education or an elderly person’s healthcare.
With jobs being created, the city, town or village becomes a better place to live in. Not just factory workers, opportunities are also created for new and young entrepreneurs, designers and retailers when we buy local.

 

Easier on your pocket

While e-commerce stores, big shops and shopping malls may offer a great discount and have bigger brands on display, the same item can be purchased at a much cheap rate if you are buying from a local shop or market. So by buying local, you are not only supporting the local economy but also helping yourself as it is easier on your wallet.
For a simple example, if you buy a bunch of fresh coriander leaves weighing roughly 100-120 gms, an e-commerce app will charge you somewhere between Rs 35-45, while at the local market you can buy it just for Rs 10-15.

 

Personal touch

When we buy from the local market we usually develop a personal connection with the seller and we end up being their loyal customers. It’s the same aunty from whom we will buy fish, the same young man for pineapples or papaya, and the same uncle for milk and dairy. But this loyalty is not one way. While we become their loyal customers, they also take care of us and try their best to retain us. This is why they will usually handpick the freshest vegetable or fruits for us, warn us if the milk is not fresh enough or tell us to come back for a fresh supply of fish the following day.
Also, local sellers develop a sound knowledge about the product they are selling and also educate us about the same.

Environment

You must be wondering how shopping local can benefit the environment. Did you know that if you are shopping from the local market, you’re making a positive environmental impact? This is because local businesses require lesser transportation, which means lesser traffic jam and air pollution, thereby contributing to reducing carbon footprint. So, when you buy from a local fruit or vegetable seller, it is generally sourced from the nearby village or town producing the same. In local shops, fruits and veggies are not wrapped in plastic. And, if you can carry your own bag from home while purchasing grocery, then you are also discouraging the seller to give you the items in a single use plastic and thereby supporting environmental conservation.

Conclusion

Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director-General of the International Labour Organization posted on X, “Today, we celebrate Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day. #MSMEs account for 70% of global employment but often face low productivity, poor working conditions and vulnerability to various shocks. Supporting MSMEs is key for decent work, economic growth & social justice.”
Are you still ordering grocery online? Are you still visiting shopping malls for expensive clothes and cosmetics? Pay a visit to the local market today and we can guarantee that you will not be disappointed. Because by buying local, you are not only purchasing an item but also spreading smiles!