The growing importance of local purchasing has not gone unnoticed by local business authorities across the country and this summer its people across the country have devoted at least some of their time and energy to finding ways. to support the communities and businesses that are part of it.
He recently launched a Look for Local campaign which encourages Irish people to make a conscious effort to buy Irish goods or spend money on Irish services or experiences when they visit again in the summer of 2021.
The campaign aims to build awareness of the domino effect that local spending has across their community. Every € 10 spent locally on Irish products generates more than € 40 in employment benefits for the local community.
If you spend a tenner with your local butcher who spends the tenner with his accountant who spends the tenner with the local florist who then sponsors the local GAA team is obviously much more beneficial to the local economy than if you spend the same tenner on an overseas website that gives the money to a billionaire spending it on a spaceship or something.
The campaign was launched by Tánaiste and Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar. “Finding premises and supporting small businesses in your community is more important than ever,” he said. “Whether you are considering buying a gift, new clothes, any service, whatever, your local business would love your custom. ”
He noted that over a million people are employed by a small business in Ireland, more than the public sector and multinationals combined.
“Since the onset of Covid-19, local business offices have worked closely with small businesses across the country to help them support them with financial supports, training, mentorship and advice in all areas. of their activity ”, declared the president of the network. local business offices, Pádraic McElwee.
“Now it’s our turn as consumers to seek out local products as the economy reopens. Every euro you spend with a local business is an investment in the community around it, ”he added. “Not only that, but it has a positive environmental, economic and societal impact.
Last year, local business offices approved more than 13,000 online vouchers, enabling small businesses to establish an online business presence, an increase of just under 1 000% from 2019. This has helped small businesses to continue trading virtually when their physical stores have been closed.
Among those who have been supported by the company’s local office is Aoife McNamara who started the clothing brand Aoife Ireland in February 2019 and quickly made a name for himself for clothes that have been described as times “striking but portable”.
Sustainability is at the heart of the brand with at least half of its most recent collection in eco-friendly styling and made from sustainable fabrics. Her clothes are made from Irish wool and tweed and the manufacturing takes place here as well.
She recently used a local business expansion grant to renovate and open her first store in a thatched cottage in Adare, County Limerick. A cottage selling woolen sweaters? It couldn’t be more Irish than that, really.
Then there’s Sam agus Nessa, a furniture and product design company in Co
Kildare. The couple behind the brand met in the UK while working in the furniture industry.
In 2015, they moved home to set up on their own. As that first Christmas in Ireland approached, they made their gifts from Irish wood scraps they had left behind during furniture projects.
They decided to make a few more pieces and try their luck at a Christmas craft fair, where they caught the eye of some local retailers. Six years later, Sam agus Nessa is present in more than 40 outlets across the country, including Kilkenny Design, Meadows and Byrne and Designist.
During Covid-19, the couple reached out to their local business office for help and took advantage of the online voucher to build their website and have since increased their sales by 3.5% to 10% of their total.
Cloud Picker Coffee was started by Peter Sztal and Frank Kavanagh in February 2013 on Sheriff Street in Dublin 1. Partners – in business and in life – set out to create sustainable coffee roasting. Cloud Picker Coffee imports, roasts and packages coffees and sells them. commercial espresso equipment as well as domestic coffee brewing equipment.
Then Covid happened. Cloud Picker Coffee had to change direction quickly, a decision that resulted in a dramatic but positive increase in coffee sales for the domestic market.
Their online retail sales increased 953% from 2019 and the company received funding from the local Dublin City Business Office for the creation of three new jobs.
Belle Femme Lingerie is owned by Bridget Kearney. She identified a gap in the market for a service offering bra fittings without using a tape measure and established a retail unit on Kieran Street in Kilkenny over 10 years ago.
During the Covid era, she introduced a virtual bra fitting service where she used this technique and offered bra fits to clients remotely. Demand has increased dramatically and the business is now open for both fittings and online shopping. Like the others, she was supported by her local corporate office and received an online voucher that allowed her to update her online store.
The Local Business Campaign, aimed at highlighting these and other local businesses across the country, will run throughout the summer and people will be encouraged to use the #LookforLocal hashtag on social media to help. to support the campaign and find companies involved.