Local businesses worth double internet economy
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British people spend £88 a week at pubs, newsagents and other local businesses, adding up to £218 billion a year, new research finds.
Purchases by UK adults at local businesses amount to some £218 billion, almost double the value of the internet economy, according to research from Santander Business Banking.
The figure is based on average spend of £88 per week per person on local amenities, defined as shops or services within a 15-minute walk of their house. This estimate was derived through an online survey of 2,031 UK adults by pollster ICM.
UK online consumption in 2010 was estimated at some £120 billion by Boston Consulting Group.
Robin Foale, managing director of Santander Business Banking, acknowledged that confidence among local business owners was 'still quite low'. However, he added, 'This research highlights how local businesses remain a relevant and integral part of any community. People clearly value their local amenties.'
The research reveals that the most popular local amenities are pubs, with 47 per cent of respondents listing them among their most valued local businesses. Other highly appreciated amenities were newsagents, cited by 45 per cent of respondents, grocers (36 per cent) and fast food outlets (32 per cent). Less well-loved were copy shops and internet cafes, both attracting appreciation ratings of less than 4 per cent.
Local businesses are changing to meet today's requirements, the research also suggests. Two-thirds of people now live within walking distance of a coffee shop, 61 per cent are near a gym, and 56 per cent have a nail bar close to home.
Two in three people (67 per cent) said that they would like to see at least one additional business on their doorstep. Foale comments, 'There are still a huge number of opportunities for business owners.'