Portlaoise traders to seek public help

portlaoise traders behind the Downtown campaign have turning to Government bodies funded by public money for help.

portlaoise traders behind the Downtown campaign have turning to Government bodies funded by public money for help.

Over sixty Portlaoise businesspeople pooled their resources last autumn and spent €5,000 to advertise Portlaoise as a shopping destination, also organising a Christmas market to attract shoppers to Main St.

Last Monday night the group met to review the campaign, and discuss what to do next. All agreed that while it was a boost to business, more money and expertise are vital for any future success. Committee chairman Marcus Breslin explained what they hope to do next.

“We are trying to get statutory authorities like Laois County Council and Laois Partnership involved. The outlook remains difficult, and if we want to get anything done, we need to strategise. I think we need a ten-year plan for how the town is going to go.

“Decisions made quite a long time ago are only coming to fruition now, like Laois Shopping Centre. We are starting to think how we can influence our town in a few years time,” he said.

The cost of promotion is a big issue for the traders.

“We have a very limited budget, we spent most of it on marketing, and we wouldn’t have that kind of money to splash around. We have no funding and no secretarial staff,” he explained.

They will hold a general meeting next month to attract more business people into the fold, and gather new ideas. Marcus is hopeful that another meeting will soon be held for all of Portlaoise’s citizens who are interested in helping their town.