Grow Your Community, Buy Local and #KeepLaoisinBusiness - Abbeyleix Tidy Towns gets behind campaign

Importance of shopping locally and growing YOUR community

Robbie Quinn, Chairman, Abbeyleix Tidy Towns

Reporter:

Robbie Quinn, Chairman, Abbeyleix Tidy Towns

Abbeyleix Library.Picture: Alf Harvey.

Did you know that every €10 spent locally on Irish products generates €24 of benefit to the local community, and 45 cents of every €uro spent is reinvested locally in comparison to only 15 cents for the foreign multiple-national companies?

Have you also heard that Christmas sales can account for up to two-thirds of a small retailer's annual turnover? A bad Christmas can put the retailer out of business. This is not just devastating for the small business owner. It hurts the entire local economy and never more so than this year.

Small businesses support YOUR local economy and the money YOU spend at a local business stays within YOUR town and community, thus improving its future. Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s welfare and future.

How many times are our local businesses asked to support our local sports club, drama society or dance group? Local business owners donate more to local charities than non-local owners.

Apart from directly helping to keep your local businesses in business, our local town unique and our local economy afloat, there are many, more selfish reasons to shop in your local businesses. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

These include:
- Availability of a wealth of locally sourced, ethically produced products from local farms, bakers, grocers etc, often with the option to sample the products before you buy.

- Reduced or free from hidden or unaccounted costs, such as time, fuel cost, postage, taxes and charges. 

- A small business owner is going to go the extra mile to make you happy. Local businesses are owned by your neighbours and friends, they care about you and are invested in the well-being of your community and its future. You are also going to see these people around and they are less likely to fob you off or be rude because they have to face you day after day.

- Small businesses carry unique products and services that you won’t find anywhere else. They allow you access a greater variety of quirky, local, one-off gifts. When you shop at a chain or online hundreds of others will have that product.

- Small businesses support creativity! Oftentimes small businesses and boutiques sell and display designs from local artists.
- Local business owners are also often involved in decision-making that benefits the entire community.

- Our Small local business community is set up around our Market Square and Main street centre, providing a centralised variety that is much friendlier and accessible than out of town shopping centres. This generally means we are contributing less to sprawl, traffic congestion, biodiversity loss and pollution.

- Again, the more jobs you have in your local community the less people are going to have to commute which means more time with less traffic and pollution, reducing environmental impact.

- As alluded to above. Supporting small businesses is good for your health. It enables us to take a walk to the local farmer’s market and buy some fresh produce, or select a new dress from a small boutique or pick up a candle from your craft shop in the town centre. When you buy local, you have easy access to fresh food that is chemical and pesticide-free in our local
supermarkets. MORE BELOW POSTER.

The unique character of our local community is defined in large part by the business that reside there, and that plays a big factor in your overall satisfaction with where you live and the value of your home and property. According to the American Express High Streets Ahead study - houses near town centres full of prospering small traders have climbed by an average of €50,000 over the last decade.

So while money might be tight this year, please buy Irish and local where and when you can and help to make a real difference to your town and community. It may help to retain local jobs and local business. You might just enjoy your Christmas shopping experience in the process knowing how much this means for your local economy.

Don’t be disappointed to hear about the closure of a locally owned business in our town or County in 2021 and regret not doing more to help prevent it?

Just BUY LOCAL and GROW YOUR COMMUNITY to the benefit of everyone.

Keep Safe & Look out for one another.

The Leinster Express is running a #KeepLaoisinBusiness campaign through Level 5 to December 1 and beyond to support all the local shops and businesses and jobs they support. MORE HERE.