Small businesses struggle to attract locals

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Only a third of consumers in the North West shop local, with just 34 per cent saying they regularly spend with three or more small businesses in their local area, according to a new study from Everline.

Small businesses in the North West face a challenge to attract local shoppers.

This number lags behind the national average of 42 per cent of consumers who regularly buy products and services in their local area.

In addition, a fifth (18 per cent) of North Western consumers say they do not use any SMEs near their home or work on a regular basis, and a further 15 per cent use just one.

The research, launched during Local Business Week, identified several ways in which small companies in the North West could attract greater levels of loyalty.

Half of local consumers said that more competitive pricing would make them more likely to use, or continue to use, a small business. A quarter cited promotions as a way of securing or increasing their custom, while the same number suggested that they would like to see a better range of quality products available. Additionally, a fifth suggested that better trained staff or better customer service would encourage them to shop locally.

Russell Gould, Managing Director at Everline, said: “This research highlights that local businesses in the North West need more support not just from consumers, but from the Government, the wider corporate landscape and the finance industry as well.”