We will all have noticed that shops on our local high streets are finding it hard to cope and many are closing down. However, if we want to make sure that they stay, then we will need to support them. Many people do feel that they want the high streets back and to survive but this can be difficult when it is often cheaper and more convenient to shop online or out of town. Getting a balance can be tricky but there are things that you can do which might help to keep your high street alive and be within your budget.
Buy a few things a month from the high street
Even if you just buy a few things from your high street it can make a difference. This is particularly true for independent shops and small local chains where they do not have online ordering and big flagship stores to bail them out and make up for local losses. However, even big chains will close unprofitable local shops. Remember that if you support the big chains on your high street and they stay open, then more people will continue to shop on the high street and that will help the smaller shops as well as they may shop in those as well. With no big traders on the high street the smaller independent shops will get no passing trade and people may just not bother to visit the high street at all. So even if you cannot afford to shop in the independent shops, you can still help them to remin open by shopping in the other high street shops.
It might be that you will need to prioritise your spending and support those specific shops that you feel you will miss the most if they go. Just buying a greetings card, a cup of coffee, a hairband or something like that can make a difference. If you need to buy a gift and have a fixed budget then try these shops first. You could find that they will have some lovely things and if you are shopping in independent shops then the recipient will be less likely to know how much the items have cost. If the shops do not have what you are looking for then see if they can order things in. Some will be more able to do this than others but it is often worth asking. Many small independents will be willing to try things like this for you so that they are able to provide good customer service and make some money.
Encourage others to use the high street
If you cannot use the high street enough then try to encourage other people to do so as well. There are some social media campaigns that you can share or you could like the shops on social media and share their posts. This will be particularly effective if you are friends with people that live locally and are likely to use the local shops. Another method could be to meet friends and family on the high street and then wander around and they may spend money there. If you regularly meet people for coffee then choose a shop on the high street so that you can support them. If you do not have a favourite then try different ones. If people ask you what you would like as a gift; perhaps if you have a birthday coming up, then ask
Just go into shops for a chat
Independent shop owners or people who work in independent shops can get quite lonely if they do not have many customers during a day. Even if you cannot afford to shop with them, go in for a chat and be friendly. They will appreciate the friendly gesture and if people passing see you in the shop they might pop in as well and they might buy things. It can be a nice supportive thing to do and shop owners and workers will appreciate it and will understand that not every person that goes in the shop is able to afford to buy things.
Browse in the shops
Browsing in the shops does not cost anything and it will allow you to what sorts of things they have and how much they are. You may even find that there are things in the shop that you can afford when you thought that you would not be able to. Knowing what sorts of things, they sell will help you to be able to make choices when you are in need of buying things and you will know which shops will have the things that you need. You will need to be careful to not be tempted to spend money that you cannot afford while you are browsing though, but if you take no money with you then you will not be able to do this anyway.