'cariad' hearts in woodThere are roughly 101,000 adults over the age of 16 living in Gwynedd. If every one of those adults were to spend £5 per week in a local shop or market, instead of spending it at a chain store or online, Gwynedd’s economy would benefit to the tune of £26m per year.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

What could we do in Gwynedd with an extra £26m per year?

For starters, we could create a lot of jobs, provide better facilities for all members of our community, and generally make Gwynedd an even pleasanter and happier place to live.

Gwynedd, though beautiful and friendly and full of wonderful places to see and things to do, struggles a little when it comes to its finances.

For example, agriculture is a major industry in Gwynedd, but our farmers are often squeezed hard by the ‘bargaining power’ of large supermarket chains who want to pay as little as possible for the goods they sell to us, so that they can make big profits for their shareholders – who more often than not have no connection to our local area and are therefore unconcerned with how strong our local economy is.

a shopkeeper makes a sale - Buy Local GwyneddIt’s not just the farmers who suffer when this happens. It happens in manufacturing and crafts, and even in the service industries.

Driving prices down may put a few extra pounds in our personal pockets temporarily, but when local businesses can no longer afford to employ local people and have to make redundancies and even face bankruptcy, we all very quickly start to feel the effects.

That’s why Gwynedd Council is working to support local businesses – and by extension, the whole community – by encouraging its residents to do more of their shopping with local independent traders instead of at large chain stores or online.

A few small changes to your shopping habits could make all the difference; it really doesn’t have to mean significant upheavals to the way you shop, or any major inconvenience.

A birthday present here, a pint of milk and a loaf of bread there, and using your local butcher or fishmonger instead of the meat and fish counters at the supermarket – that’s all it takes to tell local independent traders that you support them.

And by supporting them, you’re supporting yourself, and the whole community. Feels great, doesn’t it?

selling toys at a toy shop - Buy Local Gwynedd