Orla McGee, KCC Economic Development Officer, with Paul Lenehan and Jill Kinsella of Firecastle, Kildare Town. Picture: Les Kelly Studios
Consumers and businesses in County Kildare are being encouraged to shop local this Christmas and are reminded of the huge range of goods and services they can access on their own doorsteps with a new Government campaign to ‘Look For Local’ launched in Firecastle, Kildare Town.
Kildare County Council’s Senior Economic Development Officer, Orla McGee was joined by Paul Lenehan and Jill Kinsella of Firecastle and launched the campaign with Local Enterprise Office Kildare to encourage shoppers to ‘Look for Local’ this Christmas following a challenging year for small businesses.
Launching the project locally, Paul Lenehan of Firecastle said “Whether online or in person, the choices that you make for your Christmas shopping this year will have a real impact on your local community. Shopping local keeps small businesses trading and local people employed. Local businesses employ your friend, your neighbour, your cousins, your brothers, sisters, parents and wider community.
“It’s so important to choose local, especially this year.” The entrepreneur concluded by saying “I welcome this project and encourage people to #lookforlocal when shopping in the coming weeks”.
As we all plan to have a safe Christmas, the Government is reminding people of how easy it is to shop and trade locally, and support their own local businesses, either by phone, online for home delivery, or collection.
The Local Enterprise Office Kildare Look for Local campaign, which is funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, aims to highlight small County Kildare businesses in every sector, asking that people continue to build on the recent groundswell of support shown to local businesses when looking to buy goods or services.
As part of the campaign, working with KFM, Kildare County Council are encouraging the local community to look for local when shopping this Christmas and to highlight the many products and services that are made locally.
Details of how to participate are available on www.localenterprise.ie/ kildare.
Additionally, Kildare County Council, in association with the Kildare Chamber of Commerce have recently launched Shop County Kildare, an online eCommerce shared platform providing Kildare businesses the opportunity to make the move to online sales in a free of charge, user-friendly way. The dedicated website highlights the offerings of businesses across the five Municipal Districts of County Kildare. To date there are over 300 Kildare businesses signed up.
Since January, the Local Enterprise Offices nationally have approved over 11,000 Trading Online Vouchers for small Irish businesses, helping them to create or adapt their online trading presence. Over 12,060 Business Continuity Vouchers to small businesses have also been approved so far this year, while over 55,000 individuals have received Covid-19 specific mentoring or training from their Local Enterprise Office.
The Look for Local campaign will be promoted by Local Enterprise Offices across the country along with Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities.
Orla McGee, Senior Economic Development Officer with the Local Enterprise Office said; “This has been one of the most challenging years for Irish businesses in recent history. The Local Enterprise Offices have been working closely with thousands of companies and entrepreneurs to provide financial and training supports to help them navigate these unprecedented times. Now we want to try and encourage more consumers, but also businesses, to look local if they require goods or services. If they are looking online, we want them to see if there is someone local who can help them and to try to support the small businesses and jobs in their local communities. Small businesses across the country have had to pivot or change their models during this year and now more than ever they deserve our support.”
Speaking about the campaign, Jacqui McNabb, Head of Enterprise with Kildare County Council, Local Enterprise Office said; “Local authorities are delighted to support the ‘Look for Local’ campaign and all efforts to showcase and celebrate local enterprise. Small businesses and retailers are the lifeblood of our cities, towns and villages, providing vital economic activity and employment opportunities. They have faced unprecedented challenges since March and local authorities have been working to support them as much as possible. We would urge all consumers and businesses to do the same, and to look out for Irish businesses this Christmas.”
For more information on the campaign go to www.LocalEnterprise.ie/LookforLocal and agencies, businesses and consumers will also be encouraged to use #LookforLocal on social media to help support the campaign.