Shoppers urged to 'Look for Local' this Christmas

(Above) At the launch of the Look for Local campaign were, from left, Christine Charlton (LEO Westmeath), Denise Bell (Bell Lane Coffee), Gearoid Sheridan (LEO Westmeath), Pat Gallagher (WCC), David Quirke (Wholesome Kitchen), Minister Robert Troy TD, Cathaoirleach Ken Glynn, Rose Boles (Burgess Atlone), Ross O'Colman (Enterprise Ireland) and Declan Murray (Skyfab).

Westmeath people have been asked to shop local this Christmas in a bid to help businesses recover some of the losses incurred during the course of the year.

The Look for Local campaign, which is being run by the Local Enterprise Office Westmeath, was launched by the Minister of State for Trade Promotion Robert Troy in Mullingar this afternoon. Speaking at the launch, Minister Troy said that this year, more than ever, it was vital that people support local businesses in the run up to Christmas.

“Ireland’s small businesses are woven into the fabric of our communities; they sponsor our teams, support local events and are central to community life. The Look for Local campaign is an opportunity for everyone to support these businesses and think closer to home as we begin our Christmas preparations.

“It’s been a very difficult year for businesses. The Government have assisted thousands of local businesses across the country since the onset of Covid-19 to pivot and change the way they operate. I know many Irish businesses in Westmeath have transformed how they provide goods and services through the Business Continuity Voucher and the Trading Online Voucher from the Local Enterprise Offices and are now open for business over the phone or online.

“Looking to local businesses when and as you can, and by using collection or home delivery services where its available, means you can shop locally and safely in the run up to Christmas, and support local jobs and communities.”

Several Local Enterprise Office companies who availed of supports in recent months to help them through the impact of the pandemic were in attendance at the launch today. They included Denise Bell of Bell Lane Coffee, Mullingar, Declan Murray of drone firm Skyfab, Mullingar, retailer Rosie Boles of Burgess Athlone and restaurant owner David Quirke of Wholesome Kitchen, Mullingar.

Christine Charlton, LEO Westmeath, with Mullingar restaurant owner David Quirke of Wholesome Kitchen.

The campaign will be promoted by the Local Enterprise Office Westmeath and its counterparts across the country along with Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities who will all be promoting the Look for Local message over the coming months.

Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise at LEO Westmeath 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.”

Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive of Westmeath County Council 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.”

The campaign will run for several weeks on media and profiling will continue until the end of the year to help spotlight local businesses across the country and encourage people to Look for Local. 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.

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