July 26, 2021
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Leo urges Kilkenny consumers to ‘look local’ this summer

Kilkenny consumers have been urged to ‘look local’ when you are shopping for products, services or experiences this summer.

The call is part of a new national campaign launched by the Local Enterprise Office.

he ‘Look for Local’ campaign, supported by Enterprise Ireland and local authorities, aims to raise awareness of the benefits of spending in your local area. The initiative is also supported by Kilkenny County Council’s #shopkilkenny initiative which is currently running a promotional campaign in conjunction with KCLR.

Research carried out as part of the first ‘Look for Local’ campaign, which was run by Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny in November and December 2020, showed that Irish consumers were 83% more likely to look local for products and services in 2021.

Now the new campaign aims to strengthen this sentiment and to educate consumers on the domino effect that local spending has throughout their community. Every €10 spent in Kilkenny city and county on Irish products and services generates more than €40 of benefit to Kilkenny in terms of employment, according to the ISME Shop Local Report, 2020.

Launching the campaign, Tánaiste and Enterprise Minister Leo Varadkar said: “It’s more important than ever to look for local and support small businesses in your community. Whether you’re thinking of buying a gift, new clothes, a service of some sort – whatever it is, your local business would be delighted with your custom.

“It’s wonderful to see so many small businesses reopen recently, after what has been an exceptionally difficult period and as our vaccine programme ramps up further, we hope to see many more open their doors.

“We’re hoping for a really busy summer for our small businesses across the country. Over one million people are employed by a small business in Ireland, more than the public sector and multi-nationals combined. I encourage everyone to support these jobs and look for local in their own community.”

The Local Enterprise Office ‘Look for Local’ campaign, which is funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, will run across the summer on national, local and online / digital media and will promote small businesses across the country and the benefit of spending with them.

Head of Enterprise Fiona Deegan said: “Since the onset of Covid-19, the Local Enterprise Office has been working closely with small businesses across the county to help sustain them with financial supports, training, mentoring and consultancy in all areas of their business.

“Now it’s our turn as consumers to ‘Look for Local’ with the economy reopening.  Every Euro you spend with a local business is an investment in the local community and the quality of goods, services and experiences on our doorstep are second to none.

“Not only that, but it makes a positive environmental, economic and societal impact. This Summer we are asking everyone to Look for Local and support businesses and jobs in their community.

“In 2020 the Local Enterprise Office approved 302 Trading Online Vouchers which enabled small businesses to set up an online trading presence.  This was up over ten-fold from the previous year. The vouchers helped small businesses to keep the virtual doors open, when the physical ones were shut.

“This supplemented with training, mentoring, sector & issue specific consultancy and financial supports helped thousands of businesses to continue to trade and sustain themselves ahead of this Summers reopening.”

Kilkenny County Council Cathaoirleach of Fidelis Doherty added: “Local authorities are providing a range of supports for businesses to help them get back on their feet but the support of the public is crucial for those businesses and for our local economies.

“Small businesses and retailers are the lifeblood of our cities, towns and villages, providing vital economic activity and employment opportunities. Local busineseses have so much to offer from top quality products to unique experiences, and the coming months are a great opportunity to take advantage, so please ‘Look for Local’, if you can.”

For more information, visit: www.LocalEnterprise.ie/LookforLocal

CAPTION: Trading Online Voucher Recipient Bridget Kearney, owner of Belle Femme on Kieran Street, Kilkenny and her online store www.bellefemmelingerie.ie  During Covid, Bridget availed of supports from the Local Enterprise Office and extended her service to offer Ireland’s  first virtual bra fitting service online.

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