I’m a keen believer in supporting your local economy. Most of my clients are from my local area, so it makes sense that I do all I can to boost the vitality of the area. I try and use local independently owned shops and service suppliers wherever I can. Every pound I spend that stays in Canterbury is going to help boost the local economy. I am a Director for Canterbury Credit Union, and we lend to local people only. This enables people to save their money, knowing it will support the community.
When a pound is spent in Tesco, maybe 10pence of that pound will go on wages, to local people, and stay in the economy, but the rest? Straight to HQ in London.
I’m also a keen supporter of Charities. I am a member of Rotary, one of the largest fundraising organisations in the world, and I support and work for free for various charities. I gain a great deal of satisfaction from voluntary work, and it makes me happy. Charity shops are a great place to find some real gems and bargains, whilst ‘doing something good’.
So- here is my dilemma.
It struck me the other day, how bad Charity Shops must be at sucking money out of the local area. Specifically ‘national charity’ shops. The staff are not paid (generally), so no money goes back to local people via wages. They are also exempt from Council Business Rates – meaning that unlike other businesses, they don’t contribute to the local economy through taxes.
Every pound you spend in say, Oxfam, goes straight out of the local economy. Even more so than Tesco or Sainsbury’s.
I’m not saying charity shops are bad, or that they should close, but it is an interesting thought is it not?
Leave your thoughts below.