Consumers in Yorkshire and the Humber are shunning big business to shop local, according to a new survey.
Everline, the digital lender for small businesses polled more than 2,000 people.
It found almost half were loyal to three or more small businesses near their home or work rather than spending online or with large corporates.
The study also found that the loyalty of consumers in the area is fairly typical for the UK, where 42 per cent of consumers overall use this many local small businesses regularly.
The research, launched last week also identified several ways in which small companies in Yorkshire and the Humber could attract even greater levels of loyalty. Half of local consumers (49 per cent) said that more competitive pricing would make them more likely to use, or continue to use, a small business. 29 per cent suggested that they would like to see a better range of quality products available, while a fifth (19 per cent) cited promotions as a way of securing or increasing their custom. Additionally, a further fifth (20 per cent) suggested that better trained staff or better customer service would encourage them to shop locally.
Consumers’ willingness to support local businesses demonstrates that they are an important part of local life, and must be supported by the Government and other institutions. Currently, most small business owners think that banks are not interested in lending to them and the challenges of maintaining their cash flow and raising the funds to grow their business are well documented. More than a quarter say that a lack of access to cash is restricting business growth.
Russell Gould, managing director at Everline, said: “This research confirms the importance of small businesses to communities in Yorkshire and the Humber and highlights they deserve support not just from consumers but from the Government, the wider corporate landscape and the finance industry as well. It’s important to enable SMEs to grow their businesses and encourage loyalty, whether that is through hiring skilled people, investing in promotional materials or expanding into new business areas.
“Flexible finance providers can help make the process easier by removing some of the barriers to borrowing, so small business owners should research all their options to ensure that they don’t miss out on the opportunity to expand and develop just because they don’t have access to the right funding.”
Everline.com provides funding to small business owners looking to expand their business.