It is imperative in today’s world, where large corporations tend to dominate the market, to not overlook the benefits of supporting ones small, local businesses. Investing in local businesses can be incredibly beneficial not only for the community, but also for the growth aspect of the overall SMME sector in South Africa. Every single person in South Africa needs to believe that they have the power to change lives, create jobs, as well as to improve the country’s struggling economy. This is through the simple implementation of buying local. This will, in turn, assist with securing the necessary jobs along the value chain.
We saw the effects of the global crisis Covid, July riots in Durban and the taxi strikes in Cape Town can be risky in times of disruptions such as supply chain issues or global crises. Local sourcing provides guest houses with more control and adaptability during challenging times. Building relationships with local suppliers and businesses can create a strong sense of community. This can lead to mutually beneficial partnerships and collaborations that enhance the overall guest experience.
Why Guest Houses should support the Local Economy
Every Rand spent on local products, will assist to rebuild the broader South African economy and contribute to retaining and creating jobs. Consumers of goods are then closer to home in that most produce is farm to table. Again, it is important to take into account that guest houses are responsible for big portion of the revenue generated through tourism and that again has a major impact on driving and improving local business.
Supporting the Local Economy
One of the most significant benefits of supporting local businesses is that you’re supporting the local economy. When you invest money with a local business, that money stays in the community, circulating among other small businesses and creating jobs. This means that the money you spend at a local business is more likely to benefit the people who live in your community.
When it comes to Guest houses, by purchasing from local suppliers and artisans, guest houses help stimulate demand, which will lead to more employment opportunities for local residents.
Local businesses are often run by the owners themselves, who are passionate about what they do and take great pride in their work. As a result, they tend to offer personalised service, taking the time to get to know their customers and their needs. They can also offer tailored advice and recommendations based on their personal experience with the products or services they offer, very different to the service and advice from your large retailers.
Unique Products and Services
Local businesses often offer products and services that you can’t find elsewhere. Whether it’s a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork or a specialty food item, local businesses can offer unique and interesting products that add character to the community.
Unique Local products and flavours can be incorporated into menus of the various guest houses, and this can contribute to the unique identity of a guest house. By incorporating local foods, crafts, and cultural elements, guest houses can provide more authentic and memorable experiences for their guests.
By making an effort to visit local businesses is an excellent way to build community and discover what is actually out there and available.
Local businesses often host events and workshops, bringing people together to learn, create, and connect. They also tend to have a greater sense of community involvement, supporting local charities and events and building a sense of pride and identity in the community. The Riebeek Valley has local charities such as RAW, who rely entirely on donations, a small band of dedicated volunteers and a single employed fieldworker.
The services offered are specifically for low-income/no-income residents. They are not an animal shelter or rescue organisation, though they assist where they can.
Local suppliers often have the capacity to provide customized solutions to meet the specific needs of guest houses such as Julu Guest House and in turn provides a more tailored and personalized offering to our guests.
Visiting local businesses can also have environmental benefits. Local businesses tend to have a smaller carbon footprint than large corporations, as they often source their products locally and have shorter supply chains. This means that supporting local businesses can help reduce carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future. What is fantastic is that buying locally means fewer transportation kilometres to fret about, therefore the logistics are much more clear cut.
Overall, by supporting the local economy aligns with principles of sustainability and community engagement. Guest houses can contribute to a thriving local ecosystem while reaping the benefits of a more resilient and interconnected network of businesses by investing in local.