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'Choose to shop local this Christmas': Visa reveals the positive impact on local economies

23rd November 2020: Buying more of your Christmas dinner ingredients, loved ones’ presents or home decorations from a local business could double the amount of money that stays in your community, according to new research commissioned by Visa.

After a year of upheaval for independent businesses, and ahead of Black Friday weekend, Visa has released key findings from its upcoming report created in partnership with Cebr (Centre for Economic & Business Research). The socio-economic report launches alongside Visa’s Where You Shop Matters Christmas campaign, championing Britain’s local, independent businesses for a third consecutive year.

According to the research, for every £10 we spend with a local business, more than a third (£3.80) stays within the area, showing the value of shopping locally. The research also found that currently Brits spend just over a fifth of their money locally*, however they would be willing to spend half** of their money with local businesses.

By choosing to shop local this Christmas, consumers could double the amount of money that stays in their local area at a critical time for Britain’s small businesses.

The community benefits of shopping local

Over half of Brits surveyed (54%) say it’s important to them to shop locally because they know how much their custom means, while 43% say they get a boost of happiness when they support local shopkeepers. Consumers also believe that local businesses contribute to their community by employing local people (49%), making the area into a nicer place to live (39%) and keeping it vibrant and buzzing (38%).

Meanwhile, one in five (18%) own or are employed by a local business themselves so understand first-hand what community support means to them. Despite this, three in five consumers (62%) remain worried that independent businesses will not survive if their local community does not back them.

Jeni Mundy, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Visa comments: “Where we choose to shop matters. While for many of us, shopping locally is simply a convenient way to purchase goods and services, for local business owners it’s the lifeline they rely on, especially in these challenging times. Our research with the Cebr has found the extent to which communities prosper when we all support local businesses, so continuing this support at Christmas – and beyond – will have a profound impact on how our communities recover.

Fiona Cox, Senior Economist at Cebr comments: “Our research, in partnership with Visa, looked to quantify the local economic impact associated with shopping at local goods and services providers. We hypothesised that such firms would have a more localised supply chain and customer base, and indeed, the results indicate that, owing to the concentration of local suppliers and employees, almost 40% of money that is spent locally, stays locally, providing support to local merchants and to their communities.”

Visa’s Where You Shop Matters campaign is a long-term global commitment that recognises the essential role that local, independent businesses play in our communities. Throughout the year, Visa has been drawing on its network of industry, technology, and community partners to provide much needed assistance to local businesses as they rebuild for recovery. Visa has also committed to digitally enable eight million small businesses across Europe.

To celebrate what shopping locally means to independent businesses, this year’s Christmas campaign from Visa will feature real businesses from across the UK talking about what the support of their community means to them.

For more information, go to


*£2.26 of every £10; **£4.98 of every £10

Notes to editor

This research was commissioned by Visa and produced by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr). 

For consumer data points, the total sample size was 2,000 adults surveyed from 30th October to 3rd November 2020. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults aged 18+. For merchant data points, total sample size was 506 independent business owners with 1-10 employees, surveyed from 28th October to 4th November 2020. The CEBR also used secondary data in addition to this primary data to develop this economic impact model. The analysis was performed subject to steady state assumptions regarding the structure of supply chains in the local economy, influenced by pre-COVID assumptions which we think will old true as the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

About Visa

Visa is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device. As the world moves from analogue to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit our website (, blog (, and@VisaUK


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About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 38 countries.

Visa Europe is at the heart of the payments ecosystem providing the services and infrastructure to enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees. Visa Europe is also the largest transaction processor in Europe, responsible for processing more than 18 billion transactions annually.

There are more than 500m Visa cards in Europe, while €1 in every €6 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Total expenditure on Visa cards exceeds €2 trillion annually, with €1.5 trillion spent at point-of-sale.

Visa Europe is an independent business with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence to use the Visa brand in Europe. Visa Europe works in partnership with Visa Inc. to enable global Visa payments in more than 200 countries and territories.

For more information, visit and @VisaEuropeNews

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