Supporting locally owned small businesses termed need of the hour

Supporting locally-owned small businesses has significant positive economic impacts — even before the world was struck by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meher Kashif Younis, former senior vice president of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said this while talking to a delegation of young educated progressive women led by Noora Ahmad from Sialkot here on Sunday.

He stressed the need to support communities and look toward local small businesses for buying essentials.

He said spending locally ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested in the local economy, which results in improvements in the community. Highlighting his point of view, he said 100 rupees spent at locally-owned businesses is reinvested into the local economy through wages, goods and services, profits, and donations.

He said women entrepreneurs and minority-owned businesses hire more people of colour and pay higher wages than larger national chains. “By supporting locally-owned businesses you are helping bridge the wealth and equity gap for marginalised populations,” he added.

He stressed the need to focus on the improvement of the locally-manufactured and assembled products at par with national and global standards to attract local and foreign buyers. He also encouraged buying products made in Pakistan. He said the prime minister in the prevailing economic crunch banned imports of luxurious items to avert further loss, and now it’s high time people only buy indigenous products.

Younis said buying from small businesses that source local products can reduce environmental impact. He said local businesses add to the diversity of products and services available to a community.

He called upon the women — who constitute 49 per cent of the total population — to switch over their energies towards national development and contribute in every sphere of life.