Social value: supporting local businesses

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Why is it important to support local businesses?

Economic growth has a vital role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of residents and general living standards.

Local businesses provide employment and economic growth to the local area, impacting significantly on health and wellbeing within the community. Local high streets in particular have a role to play in providing access to services, facilitating social and community cohesion and generating a sense of belonging and pride in place. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted smaller businesses more heavily, and we can each play a role in supporting these businesses across Surrey to recover and thrive.

What practical things can you do?

Community groups, charities and businesses can all play a role in supporting other businesses, especially in supporting local, independent businesses. There is also specialist support, advice and pro bono consultancy that can be offered by larger business, as well as the option for smaller businesses to work together, sharing back-office functions and office space.

Here are some practical suggestions for supporting local businesses.

  • Promoting local businesses among your own customer base, or via your online presence including social media platforms.
  • Use independent, local businesses wherever possible, such as for printing, office suppliers, catering, venue hire, or legal services.
  • Providing support or advice on business model and strategy, HR, finance management and other aspects of business operations.
  • Providing support or advice on marketing and communications, including support with digital marketing and creating online communities, or even managing a social media channel or offering free website design.
  • Developing an ongoing relationship through business mentoring.
  • Use Transfer To Transform to fund a smaller business taking on an apprentice.
  • Provide free training in person or online, such as digital skills, environmental sustainability (for example, low carbon practices), workplace wellbeing and mental health.
  • Sponsor smaller businesses to join a business network organisation (such as Surrey Federation of Small Businesses or the Chambers of Commerce).
  • Support local loyalty schemes, or work with businesses to develop one in your local area.

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