Communities in Laois have been urged to back local business in the fight against unemployment.
Two well-known Laois people spoke strongly about the need to support local business at the Laois Community Forum Awards which were backed by the Leinster Express.
Chairman of the Laois Community Forum Paddy Buggy said Laois unemployment could be tackled by locally.
“The same energy, enthusiasm and thinking outside the box that we put into organising festivals, agricultural shows, can be harnassed to create jobs ,” he said.
Mr Buggy challenged communities to buy more from local business rather than corporates.
“When you support a small business you are supporting a neighbour to pay their mortgage. When we organise our events we look to the small businesses for sponsorship so we have to give back to those businesses...If we switch more of our spending to small businesses we will help ourselves get more jobs,” he said.
Mr Buggy also suggested that local savings could be invested in Laois firms.
Anna Marie McHugh, accepted the Leinster Express Laois Person of the Year Award on behalf of her mother and National Ploughing Championships MD Anna May McHugh. She said her mother also believes in spending locally.
“When the event goes to a county we spend the money in that county.” she said.
She supported the call voluntary groups to support their local business when running events.