LAOIS people were urged to be more patriotic and shop local over the Christmas season to help retain existing jobs and support business initiatives.
At the December meeting of Laois County Council in Áras an Chontae, Cllr Mary Sweeney said everyone knew somone that works in some business in Portlaoise and it was crtical to shop local. “There is such a threat to small business and they deserve our support. I know times are tough but there is still a lot of money in circulation.”
She praised Laois County Council for agreeing to free Saturday parking up until Christmas. However Cllr Sweeney believed this should be extended to include the fifth Saturday of December – the 29th - and every Saturday during January.
Cllr Rotimi Aebari wanted similar initiatives to support the retention of jobs to run after the festive season also.
Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald congratulated Downtown Portlaoise for their work in ensuring the town was so well decorated.
Cllr Willie Aird said Saturday free parking in the run up to Christmas represented value for money but added that the whole issue of paid parking, issuing of fines and who is entitled to clamp vehicles needs to be reviewed.
Cathaoirleach Paul Mitchell joked that ‘all turkeys were sold’ Portarlington, a reference to the enterprising 5th year LCA students at Coláiste Íosagáin who raised in excess of €2,300 after they auctioned the turkeys they had reared as part of their mini-company.
He added, “It is very important to shop local and support the deals they have on offer. There are over 500 jobs on Main Street in Portarlington and if we don’t go into those businesses they will die.” The free Saturday parking applies to Port also up until Christmas.
Cllr Tom Mulhall complimented Port Traders. “They erected new lights with some support from Laois Partnership and the town looks fantastic.”