Many of you will remember being asked (/pestered) to participate in some research towards the end of summer last year. We are really excited to share the progress of this research, and some of the results.
In order to track the long-term impact we hope to achieve, we created questionnaires (for both individual and business members) that are to be repeated year on year to show changes & growth in areas in which we hope to have an effect. Last summer was the launch of this research project.
As the research is designed to track long-term changes, it can’t tell us a huge amount about our impact after only been run once. It does however, provide us with an insight into our members that we didn’t have before, and we’d like to share this insight…
Since joining the Bristol Pound, over a quarter of individual members say they have increased the amount they spend overall with local businesses. Of those who reported this increase, every respondent said they predicted they would at least sustain this level of spending over the next 12 months, and more than 10% expect to increase it further.
Bristol Pound members are probably more inclined to shop local than the general population and considering that we’re somewhat ‘preaching to the choir’, we’re really happy to see that members are maintaining or increasing their spending with local businesses!
Bristol Pound appeals to different people for different reasons. You’ll often hear us say that we want to make the economy fairer, greener and more stable but we wanted to understand exactly what it is about spending Bristol Pounds that appeals to our members.
We asked both our individual members and business members which benefits resonated most with them, these were their top answers:
72.7% – Helps to create a circular economy
63.6% – Helps businesses to attract customers
63.6% – Helps businesses to connect with local people
89.1% – Helps to keep money in Bristol
70.3% – Builds a stronger local economy
63.4% – Helps businesses to get local suppliers
63.4% – Helps businesses to connect with local people
At a time where we are about to embark on a lot of changes, it’s important that we know which of the Bristol Pound core aims are valued most. This will help to guide future promotion of the scheme. Learn more about the future of Bristol Pound here.
Individual members have more confidence in local businesses to be able to meet their needs than business members do. This gives an insight on what can be done to make things work better for business members, such as highlighting the range of suppliers in and around the city, getting them on board, and helping businesses to close the loop and work towards a circular economy.
Both individual and business members have a similar feeling of influence, or rather lack of influence, on the way the economy works. Individual members report having a slightly higher level of economic agency, but overall it is low.
We’d like to empower members, and get people to genuinely feel that it matters where they spend their money, where they source their suppliers, and why it’s so important that they use their money as a tool to change the way things are done, for the better.
As mentioned above, we can’t draw a huge number of conclusions from this research in terms of our impact, as it has only been run once. But we can ask our members what impact they think we’ve had.
We did, and we’re really happy with the result that the majority of our individual members think that we have made the economy fairer, greener, and more stable.
There is still a long way to go, and we’ve faced many challenges over the recent months. Knowing that you have faith in what we’re doing is a massive boost, and reminds us what we’re here for and what it’s all about – your continued support means the world.