The Downtown Portlaoise traders have sent out a huge thanks to the people of Laois and Portlaoise for answering the call to shop local and Keep Laois in Business in the wake of the crippling lockdown.
As the traders headed into the final Christmas shopping weekend, they said they had been overwhelmed by the backing for local business.
"Amazing and unprecedented support has been received from Portlaoise and Laois people to the local business community. Downtown Portlaoise wants to thank everyone for their very valued and impressive support.
"Amidst the huge online surge in business and the influx of packages into Ireland, local businesses who have been allowed to trade, have been blown away by the goodwill received from everybody. They want to send out a message of thanks and hope at this time.
"In the past few years, local businesses have felt the pain of out-of-town shopping. The difference that ‘shopping local’ will have on everyone’s own community will be great and will help create a thriving and bustling environment for all to enjoy.
"Downtown Portlaoise hopes that when foreign travel resumes, that local people will remember to try and continue to shop, as much as they can, at home. It really had made a huge difference to our own local economy. We have been great at boosting other economies, but the time is now, to boost our own.
"We regret that some businesses are still closed and feeling the pain of a very long lockdown. Survival will be tough for some. While early 2021 will bring possible further lockdowns, it is hoped that most businesses will resume trading in the early part of 2021.
"Downtown Portlaoise have created a beautiful shopping environment this year. The Christmas lights have never looked as good and the lovely music on the street has helped to create a lovely shopping experience. It is worth a stroll downtown to see the fantastic effort that individual businesses have made to decorate their shop fronts. DP has created a safe environment for their customers to feel safe while shopping. In the toughest of years to ever be experienced, the town has never looked as well. The huge support from Portlaoise Tidy Towns has gone a long way to instilling pride in our community.
"Laois Chamber has contributed to the local business community by the launch of the Laois Gift Card, which is proving to be a huge success.
"A lot of our projects would not be possible without the fantastic support that Downtown Portlaoise receive from Laois County Council and appreciate the great working relationship we have together.
"Downtown Portlaoise would like to wish all its customers a safe and happy Christmas and say a big THANK YOU," concluded the statement.
The Leinster Express has run a #KeepLaoisinBusiness campaign through Level 5 and beyond to support all the local shops and businesses and jobs they support.