AS THE only regional ‘shop local’ campaign in South Africa, Megan Devan’s Local Yokel is making waves in East London.
Now in its third year, the campaign is a fully registered non-profit organisation aimed at bringing local, independently owned businesses and consumers together in an effort to promote the social and economic growth of the East London community.
“It’s quite emotional for me. I started the campaign after my local business, Elite Stationers, lost a big contract to a national company,” Devan said.
“People don’t always realise the importance of supporting local business and how recycling your rands back into our economy can do a world of good for this city.”
With 170 members, the Local Yokel project is growing steadily as more and more local businesses and consumers become aware of the benefits of buying or shopping local.
“It’s really all about networking and getting people to be mindful of where their money is going,” Devan said.
“The key thing is for businesses to identify as local and promote themselves as local so that consumers know where to find local products and services.”
Local Yokel’s Yellow Ribbon campaign does just that, encouraging consumers to buy products and services from members.
The Yellow Ribbon campaign calls businesses to display yellow ribbons or stickers at their premises in order to identify themselves as local businesses, indicating to consumers that spending their money there will have direct benefits for our community.
Grateful for all the positive support she’s received, Devan has big plans for Local Yokel and hopes to bring this Yellow Ribbon movement to every consumer and business in the city.
Devan hopes to hold a local business awards event and a local business expo in the near future.
“It’s often difficult to see the potential of East London if you haven’t lived somewhere else,” said Devan, who lived in Ireland and the United Kingdom for a few years.
“East London actually has a lot to offer.
“It could be a thriving hub for business and leisure,” said a passionate Devan.