Go! & Express - - Front Page - MADELEINE CHA­PUT

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.


PROUDLY LO­CAL: Me­gan De­van has big plans for Lo­cal Yokel, which pro­motes ‘buy­ing lo­cal’ to ben­e­fit the East Lon­don com­mu­nity

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