Where I live in Luton, we’re lucky enough to have a little grocer within walking distance, and a family run butcher, and various other small independent shops. I think we’re just far enough away from the nearest supermarket to keep them in business, and long may that continue.
There are quite a few schemes for supporting local traders. Local currencies, such as Brixton’s, are set up to encourage people to spend money locally. When I was in London I used the Wedge card scheme, a loyalty card for local shops, and still do sometimes when I’m in town.
This week I came across another scheme in 3/50. Very simply, the campaign invited shoppers to think of three small local businesses they couldn’t bear to see go out of business, pubs, shops, cafes, etc. Having chosen your three, you then pledge to spend $50 between them every month.
It’s a simple idea, getting people to notice the shops around them and shop more mindfully. I like it, and I might well adapt it for Luton in some way.