A united message is going out to Laois people this week from Laois County Council, Laois Chamber, An Garda Síochana and Downtown Portlaoise.
The public are being asked to keep themselves safe and to support local shops to make it an enjoyable Christmas for everyone this year.
Many shops and businesses reopened last week following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions from Level 5 to Level 3,
Laois County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald says that the Festive Season 2020 will be different for everyone this year.
“We all need to play our part in supporting each other this year more than ever as it has been a challenging year for a lot of people.
“It is still possible for people to have an enjoyable and safe Christmas while following the Government guidelines,” she said.
Laois County Council, Laois Chamber and the Gardaí have for some months been working together to in maximize resources to try and make the Christmas season safe and enjoyable for all communities in Laois.
Below: Pictured at County Hall, Portlaoise for the launch of the Christmas Local Shopping campaign were: Mark Healy (Chairperson, Downtown Portlaoise), Evelyn Reddin (Head of Enterprise), Gerry Murphy (Director of Services, Laois Cpo Council),Declan Power (Chief Fire Officer Laois), Denise Rainey (Business Support Unit), Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald (Cathaoirleach), John Mulholland (Chief Executive, Laois Co Council), Cllr Padraig Fleming (Vice Chairperson Joint Policing Committee), Garda Supt John Lawless and Bernie Everard CEO Laois Chamber. Photo: Michael Scully.
People are also being encouraged to support homegrown businesses by shopping local.
The Laois Gift Card was launched in mid-November by Laois Chamber in collaboration with Laois Local Enterprise Office and Laois Tourism, and is accepted by a wide range of businesses across the County including the retail, hospitality and beauty sectors.
Downtown Portlaoise launched their campaign “Be a Hero this Christmas and Shop Local” on December 1 in association with the council’s Business Support Unit.
The campaign launch coincided with the reopening of the retail sector.
“The campaign has received a tremendously positive response. With over 150 Laois businesses having availed of the “trading online vouchers” since March 2020, there are now lots of ways to shop online and still support Laois businesses,” said Mark Healy chairperson.
For those who do wish to visit the shops and enjoy the atmosphere over the festive season, personal behaviour is important they say.
People are encouraged to visit www.gov.ie to view the Department of Health guidelines for shopping safely and visiting towns over the Christmas period.
Launch of the Christmas Local Shopping campaign: Mark Healy (Chairperson, Downtown Portlaoise), Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald (Cathaoirleach ), John Mulholland (Chief Executive, Laois County Council )and Bernie Everard (CEO Laois Chamber. Photo: Michael Scully.