A new initiative is set to boost ethical and independent trading for Scottish small businesses, providing an alternative to big name brands and high street stores.
The Common Market
The initiative is a new online marketplace dedicated to “local, independent and ethical” Scottish producers. The ‘Common Market’ is the brainchild and trading arm of the Common Weal think tank, and will be launched on 14th November – hopefully in time to benefit from the Christmas surge in sales. It’s hoped that the scheme will benefit smaller businesses, communities and the creative sector, promoting local manufactures and ethical, sustainable retail practices.
Scottish Through and Through
All products sold through the Common Market will be produced, designed or upcycled in Scotland. They will include art, confectionery, luxury knitwear, upcycled homewares, fudge and gifts.
Daniel Young, project coordinator for Common Market said:
“With Common Market, we are trying to boost Scottish businesses and producers by providing them access to a market that, up until now, was under-served. We have identified that individuals in Scotland wish to purchase products from local businesses, producers and manufacturers but have no single access point to the wide variety of products available. Common Market provides a platform for these products.”
Common Weal will use its networks to promote the site and a review will take place after a pilot phase to assess if the marketplace is viable and self-sufficient.
Robin McAlpine, director of Common Weal’s think and do tank, said:
“With both high streets and web shopping dominated by a small number of multinational companies, it is difficult for Scottish producers to get fair access to Scottish consumers. Our producers can compete on price (because they don’t have the same overheads or take out the same profits) but they can’t compete with monopolies.
Every time you buy from an independent Scottish producer rather than rely on imports sold by a multinational, you help a Scottish business to survive – or be born. The more of these businesses there are, the more jobs and the more wealth we keep in Scotland. And the more we reduce economic inequality.
Of course international trade is important, but if you talk to Scottish producers you’ll find that many of them have not done well out of markets dominated by multinationals. They just want a fighting chance to sell to Scottish customers who often don’t even know they exist.”
Small companies that think their goods may be suitable for sale on the Common Market can email firstname.lastname@example.org with their enquiry.