Shopping locally

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell wonders if it better to look closer to home when investing in your home.

The UK is not alone in Europe for wanting to reduce the influence of non-nationals on their domestic affairs – the Brexit vote could easily set the house of cards tumbling across the continent as countries bring the ruling process closer to home. This is coupled with the only thing that is clear about Donald Trump’s ascendency to power – that he is against globalisation, and supports the creation of jobs for American people by supporting American-based businesses: “We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.”

Whether or not you agree with our membership of Europe or Donald Trump’s presidency, it cannot be denied that there is a shift in attitude here, both nationally and locally, to focus on businesses closer to home.

We’ve seen the rise of local currencies in a bid to boost the local economy (Exeter, near me, has the ‘Exeter Pound’, and there are many others), and from an environmental point of view the fewer miles something has travelled, the better it is for the environment.

So, it should come as no surprise that a recent Which? survey has concluded that homeowners prefer to work with independent, local companies, rather than major, national firms.

“The UK’s major double-glazing firms have been thoroughly trounced by independent brands in our latest survey,” Which? published in an article at the end of last year. “Customers rated the independents in our survey as excellent, giving them five stars for the majority of sales and installation factors, such as quality of products, staff knowledge and the quality of the installation. By contrast, none of the major brands achieved five stars on any measure.”

For a start, it’s encouraging that people are supporting local independent companies, but it is also encouraging that they are rated so highly – they are supported on their own merit rather than because of a sense of duty.

Leads2trade recently reported that more than half of people surveyed recently are preparing to spend more money improving their home.

Within this story it was reported that when asked to rate the reputation of the glass and glazing industry, the majority (64%) of homeowners surveyed took a positive view.

People who support Brexit will say we are better off out of Europe, while those who voted against it say otherwise. However, maybe simply supporting your local business is not only good for your pocket, but the quality of your investment.