Words by Andrew Weaver
In Cornwall there is a tendency for people, in particular local residents, to buy from Cornish independent businesses, proudly contributing to the local circular economy. Why is that? Here in Cornwall, we are one degree of separation from anyone else who lives here, making the more perceptive conscious of the impact of how and where they spend their money.
We vote with our wallets daily, so who we spend with helps create the world in which we live. By supporting local businesses, we see a direct impact on our local area and the lives of people within it. Spending with a national or international business takes money out of the local community. Alternatively, buying a new kitchen for example from a local carpenter not only means better quality workmanship, and the fact that they are on hand to manage the project, but also that the lion’s share of any profit is likely not only to be spent on raising the standard of living of the maker’s family, but also invests in the local economy, which benefits the whole community.
The ethos of buying from local trades, makers and installers has helped make a very strong offering of high-quality products and services in Cornwall. By investing in your community, it raises standards everywhere. As a result of conscious spending, Cornwall boasts an excellent array of cabinet makers, kitchen installers, furniture makers, garden buildings, masons, homeware designers and builders to name just a few. In turn, this has created a thriving and growing home sector in Cornwall.
For 17 years, I have worked hard to ensure that local people and businesses get a voice and opportunities that large nationals would normally flatten. The recent move to a trend of online purchasing has shown us that price-over-quality driven consumerism only feeds into lower quality, lack of choice and detached customer service. So, we have a conscious choice to feed what we want to see more of.
Over the years, since launching the Cornwall Home Show in 2011, I have seen much change in Cornwall. With more and more people moving to the region, it’s important to keep and share our values; to spend wisely and consciously. Having a local connection with a business can create greater accountability, which is a benefit for both the purchaser and the sector. With globalism being pushed, here in Cornwall we must think wisely about the future we want. Voting with our wallets and spending consciously is one way to ensure we keep choice, quality and customer service.
Andrew Weaver is the owner and founder of Live Events South West and Shop Cornish, and Project Manager of Made In Cornwall.