When walking through Yate Shopping Center, it is hard not to notice the shops that have laid empty for months. Above, you’ll see the photography/camera shop that used to develop all pictures same day, and served most of Yate & Chipping Sodbury. With the introduction of camera machines in Tesco’s and Morrisons, the ease of use of touching a screen instead of talking to a human being, this long-standing shop shut down and moved to Bath; literally driven out of Yate because of large, multi-national corporations. The shop below for example, known as Jag before it closed 2 or 3 years ago, hasn’t even been touched.
Phone shops and card shops plague Yate, with more and more popping up every day. The rent on each unit at Yate Shopping Center has gotten so high, that no local business can afford it – as is evident from a local sweet shop moving out of the smallest unit in the shopping center, making way for the much-needed second subway sandwich shop.
It’s not all bad though; If I could point out my favourite shop it would have to be Merediths Ironmongers – which you can see the edge of on the above picture. Merediths is a family ran shop that has been in the center for around 40 years! They stock household goods and random useful stuff – I can pretty much guarantee that if you go into Merediths you will find something that you NEED, not something that you WANT. I never feel ashamed to shop there, as keeping money local can only be a good thing!
Local business isn’t thriving in Yate – purely because of the rent being asked on Shopping Units in the center. There simply arn’t many other units around the town and definatly not with the footfall of the shopping center; but they are setting up their prices to accomodate chain stores that abuse their staff, the environment and the local economy.
Just ask yourselves this; if a large supermarket has recently arrived in your Town – what has happened to the locally ran butchers, grocery stores, newsagents and other businesses around you?
Why should we support local business?
- Businesses owned by local people are far more likely to want to invest spare income in causes important to them; chances are that will be something in the area they live and work in!
- Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.
- Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.
- Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.
- Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.
- Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.
- A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
- A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.