Alison and Gerry Browne who are both members of the Downtown Portlaoise group pictured opening their doors in June after the first lockdown - they have closed again but like others have gone online
The Downtown Portlaoise traders group have thanked the people of the town and Laois for their massive support during the Covid-19 pandemic and are appealing to shoppers to shop local through the Level 5 restrictions.
In response to the new Leinster Express #KeepLaoisinBusiness campaign, the Downtown group has said many retail stores of Portlaoise have had to go into back into lockdown until December 1.
But the group is fighting back.
"This has come as a bit of a shock to the business community as they have done their utmost to be responsible business owners by installing protective screens, putting procedures in place to protect both staff and customers.
"We don’t feel the numbers rose, due to any retail store acting irresponsibly. However, now that the lockdown has happened, we hope to take it on the chin, and put in place, further procedures, to continue some style of service for our valued customers.
"We would like to stress that since the first lockdown, the people of Portlaoise and Laois have given the business community massive support. There was a mini retail uplift happening. It is important that our customers know that their commitment to ‘shopping locally’ really did make a huge difference to the retail stores, most of which are family-run businesses.
"Our message for this time is to continue to shop local but shop local online also. It is possible to continue to support your local shops by looking up their online stores which many businesses now have. Also, check out what’ behind the scenes’ services are available such as ‘Click & Collect’ (safety procedures included).
"Remember a lot of stores are also answering their phones and providing remote services even if they are not online. We are still here to serve you, in whatever manner we can.
"Remember you can ‘SHOP LOCAL’ ONLINE TOO'," the traders urged the community and county.
Check out the Leinster Express special #KeepLaoisinBusiness section of our website to read more about how business are navigating the lockdown, what supports are there, and how we are playing our part to support.