Hyper-local small business is the new buzz concept taking South Africa by storm, likely due to residents remaining more trusting of locals and supportive of their small businesses. Especially true for genuine property practitioners who work and reside in the local community. This trend could not come at a more opportune time, as the country now looks towards small business growth as a means to fuel the economy and spark job creation.
According to the Seeff Property Group, small business growth in local communities is significantly boosting job creation and has fast become a driving force in growing the South African economy. Data gathered by Stats SA in their 2019 survey showed that small businesses contribute to approximately 22% of all business turnover in the country and were responsible for creating over 10 million jobs.
Apart from the great benefit to the local communities and overall economy, this has greatly benefited the property market as it adds desirability to local neighbourhoods.
While specific buyers still relish the quiet suburban lifestyle void of commercialisation, there is an increasing number of interested buyers searching for trendy neighbourhoods with many lifestyle amenities and benefits. Apart from the basic conveniences like grocery stores and general services, local entrepreneurs often bring something new and innovative to the neighbourhood. Some of these prospects include restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, boutiques, art studios, food and craft markets and many more attractions, all of which contribute to the neighbourhood's desirability.
The opportunity to visit local shops and indulge in various lifestyle amenities near your home offers unparalleled convenience and boosts demand from interested buyers.
Small businesses usually promote significant job opportunities for locals. Data from the United States supports this, showing that small companies spark the creation of approximately two-thirds of every new job. Working local jobs and spending money in support of small businesses also reduces traffic and returns more time to locals who can avoid spending their weekends and available free time travelling to and from work.
Small business growth also benefits other small businesses in the area; local graphic designers can benefit through signage or advertising from the local newspaper. A new organic market could greatly benefit small-scale traders and local crafters.
Small businesses strongly promote the regeneration of the surrounding areas. Many run-down areas became trendsetters overnight due to the innovation of new stores, restaurants, coffee shops, organic markets, hair salons and more.
According to data gathered by the Engagement Bureau, approximately 76% of South African respondents confirm that companies adopting sustainable business practices are now a critical consideration. Small businesses tend to have a strong focus on the environment and sustainability, and many small businesses not only incorporate sustainability into their methodologies as a means of helping the environment but also as a unique selling point for their products and services.
Around 81% of South African adults have become more mindful of their impact on the environment since COVID-19; therefore, it is not uncommon for organic food markets and environmentally conscious products to be the centre point for many small businesses.
Local residents want to live in welcoming communities, and small businesses often draw locals to participate in running and supporting the businesses; this is often why small businesses are the heart and soul of local communities. Residents in the area often establish, run and promote these small businesses, bolstering the sense of community.
This is where the South African concept of "local is lekker", which means "things from home are usually the best", truly shines. There is no better reflection of it than neighbourhoods that support small business ventures in the surrounding area.
If you want to become part of a South African community, buying a home is the best place to start; one of our property practitioners can guide you through the process.
If you enjoyed this blog, perhaps consider reading Seeff's blog on the best-selling suburbs in South Africa and where to buy for inspiration.