Fianna Fáil TD for Longford - Westmeath Robert Troy has called on people to support local businesses and community groups in the run up to Christmas.
Deputy Troy made the comments after launching a campaign encouraging people to shop local in the run up to Christmas.
The campaign was attended by local business owners alongside representatives from Mullingar Chamber of Commerce and Mullingar Town team.
The campaign is being run alongside the Retail Excellence Ireland campaign, which is encouraging people to shop locally on each Saturday leading up to Christmas.
“I want to encourage people to shop local in order to support small businesses and community groups in our towns and villages," said Deputy Troy.
"Small to medium sized enterprises have suffered considerably in recent years as a result of the growing dominance of large multi-national retailers across Ireland. SMEs will drive the recovery in Ireland and they need to be supported.
“Businesses in towns and villages across Ireland will simply not survive unless they are supported by their communities. The campaign which I have organised alongside local businesses will highlight this and it will get people thinking about shopping local.
“When you support your local businesses you are helping to create and sustain local jobs. Greater support for local businesses also means more product choice and competition, and the presence of more shops invigorates our communities.
“I am calling for people to support their local businesses; the message is that these businesses are the heartbeat of our communities and we must do more to support them,” concluded Deputy Troy.