The survey, conducted by Santander Business Banking, showed that the pub is valued by local communities more than the traditional newsagent (45 per cent) and the local grocery store (36 per cent). Takeaway and fast food outlets came in at fourth, valued most by 32 per cent of people.
“In the current economic climate, confidence among local businesses owners is still quite low,” explained Robin Foale, managing director of Santander Business Banking. “However, this research highlights how local businesses remain a relevant and integral part of any community.”
The research also reveals that the local business landscape is evolving to meet the changing requirements of communities. Traditional amenities, such as bakers, butchers and grocers, are increasingly being joined by new ones: two-thirds of people (66 per cent) now live within walking distance of a coffee shop, for instance. Local businesses are worth twice as much to UK economy as the online market.
“People clearly value their local amenities, spending an average of £88 per week within a 15 minute walk of their house,” added Foale. “There are still a huge number of opportunities for business owners and we are committed to supporting them as they look to develop and expand their companies.”
A nationally representative sample of 2,031 UK adults by ICM on behalf of Santander Business Banking, using an online methodology between 3 and 4 April, 2012.
Beer tax hikes
Despite the research showing the continued value of the pub to local communities, the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) earlier this year released its own research which revealed that over 300 community pubs had permanently shut down in the previous six months,demonstrating the effects of the recent beer tax hikes on the sector.