Updated: Feb 5, 2019
Words by: Paul Chapman
Images by: White No Sugar Productions & Totally Locally
In a few months’ time we exit the EU and I suspect we'll all be impacted in some way.
The price of paper used for printing S40 Local has increased, the trees that make the paper are grown in the EU and the increases my printer is seeing are passed down the chain to businesses, S40 Local included.
If our immediate economy is going to thrive, we need to carefully consider our purchasing decisions, so it seems ever more important to support our local businesses, our local economy and even, the wider UK.
Since I started S40 Local almost ten years ago it’s changed the way I think about the stuff we buy and what we can do to make a difference.
I’ve previously mentioned the ‘Tale of a Tenner’ video by White No Sugar Productions which was done for Totally Locally (hover your phone's camera over the quick code below to take you to the video on youtube - or google 'Tale of a Tenner') and it’s worth a watch. I plan to meet up with the team that run the Totally Locally scheme this year and find out more.
The simple story is told below in pictures, basically someone introduces a tenner into a local business and it's then passed around between others before ending back where it started, it never leaves the immediate economy.
Since I started S40 Local almost ten years ago it’s changed the way I think about the stuff we buy and what we can do to make a difference. Previously, if I needed something, I’d just buy it from the most convenient place, a large retail chain, a supermarket or a faceless internet site, whichever was easiest and/or cheapest.
Today things are different. Recently I needed new parts for my bike and rather than browse the internet I emailed my local bike shop, Igloo on Chatsworth Road. Rob came back to me with a price and could have the parts within the next couple of days. I called in to pick them up over the counter and had a chat, he was happy that I’d gone to him and I paid no more than I would online. Result - the profit generated stays in the local economy.
Looking ahead, when I come to needing a new bike my decision process will be about weighing up whether to shop local or to purchase a local brand which supports local manufacturers. We have a growing choice nearby, Cotic Bikes are based in Calver, they love Sheffield, use steel for their frames and plough a percentage of turnover back into local bike projects via Sheffield based advocacy group, Ride Sheffield, Sonder bikes are the in-house brand of Alpkit, a small company based just off the M1 at junction 26 and Forme bikes are based in Derby. Ideally it would be great to buy from a local shop and support a local brand and I'll keep an eye out for options.
Being a lad from Nottingham, every young child had a family member who worked at Raleigh bikes. I remember picking up a bike from the Raleigh factory shop with my uncle Ron, bikes made in the UK. It now means a lot to me to support UK brands where possible.
Consider it a resolution, it's just one way I can make a small difference in 2019. The reason for the text is to try and encourage each and every one of us to consider where we might be able to make changes and help our immediate economy.
Over to you.