Shop local in Laois this Christmas and support vital jobs and business

Saturday 2 December 2017 to be ‘Small Business Saturday’

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Shop local in Laois this Christmas and supports jobs and business

Sinead O'Rourke, Amy Fletcher, Ellen Timmons and Aine O'Rourke from Mountrath CS at the Portlaoise Christmas Market. Pic Alf Harvey

Shoppers in Laois, Leinster and across the country are being urged to support local jobs and small businesses in their communities on ‘Small Business Saturday’ on December.

The Small Firms Association Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens, said Christmas is a crucial time for retail businesses, but much of the Christmas spend will go to large stores or online retailers. He said online purchases for 2017 are expected to reach €16 billion by year end.

While this is hitting local business and jobs, the SFA believe local people can play their part.

"If each adult spent just €20 extra in small businesses this Christmas, this would amount to an injection of almost €75 million for small Irish firms and would have a huge, positive impact on local jobs and the vibrancy of town and village centres.

“The first Saturday of December is traditionally a busy shopping day and consumers should use this weekend as an opportunity to focus on buying Irish and supporting their local businesses, as the Christmas celebrations can add a major economic impetus to the country, to small businesses and help maintain jobs,” he said.

PREPARING CHRISTMAS DINNER

He said small business must take every opportunity to offer the widest possible range of goods at the most competitive prices if they are to attract as many Christmas shoppers as possible.

"Today’s shoppers are very value-conscious and, with prices down 8.4% in the last 36 months, there are great deals to be had in small businesses around the country,” Spollen-Behrens.

ISME say people should remember that retail employs more people in Ireland than any other sector of the economy.

"Consumers should think about this when making their Christmas shopping decisions, as this time of year is make or break for many small retailers. We are calling on consumers to shop locally in small businesses and buy Irish products. This way, shoppers, businesses and communities can all feel the Christmas cheer,” 

Commenting on on recent retail figures release ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell called on people to shop local right through the Christmas as it supports towns and business.
"Buying local goods supports our towns and villages and keeps our butchers, jewellers, pharmacies, brewers, distillers, confectioners, post offices, fashion, electronics and hardware stores, and all our local shopkeepers in business.
"The impact of Brexit and sterling depreciation are reasons why we must ensure money is spent in the local Irish economy ."
 
"Supporting local businesses means you are supporting the 'home-grown' team and helping to keep the local economy moving. Buying locally means you will gift something unique, special, and more valued this Christmas," he said.