Why we should all shop local this year

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    AS we count down the days, hours and minutes to Christmas, we at Waterford Today would like to make one appeal before the festivities get into full swing — Shop in Waterford this Christmas.

    We’re getting behind the message from Waterford’s Local Enterprise Office which urges people to ‘Shop Waterford, Support Local’ this year. The campaign aims to put the spotlight on the retail options within our county — from artists to designers, food producers to craft makers and everything in between that makes Waterford the first and last stop for Christmas shopping. Every €10 spent locally on Irish products generates more than €40 of benefit to the local community.

    Commenting on the campaign, Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office, said the aim is to assist local businesses on the back of a challenging couple of years.

    Just because people can and do buy their Christmas gifts online it doesn’t mean they cannot support local businesses.

    “The livelihood of many small businesses has been threatened during the pandemic. However, many of these small business owners and sole traders took the initiative to move their business to include an online selling platform as well as the physical store. Now and in the run up to Christmas, we can browse in store and online when choosing to shop local.
    Just because people can and do buy their Christmas gifts online it doesn’t mean they cannot support local businesses. In 2020 the Local Enterprise Offices approved over 13,000 Trading Online Vouchers which enabled small businesses to set up an online trading presence.

    Local businesses not only keep the economy humming, but they also add to the quality of life in our community in other ways. Seeing local businesses thrive also gives you the feeling that you’re living in a vibrant community, a desirable place to live, work and raise a family.

    when you buy in local shops, you’re supporting your neighbours

    Local businesses are owned and operated by local people, while even the chain stores are managed and run by people who live in our community. They work here, coach the local sports teams, eat in local restaurants and live just down the street — so when you buy in local shops, you’re supporting your neighbours.

    Customer service of the kind you thought had disappeared can still be found in the smallest of local businesses. And while all the indications are that the country is beginning to re-emerge after the worst recession in living memory, we must remember one thing – we are more than just an economy. We are a society of vibrant people, and we deserve each others’ support.

    To find out more about the supports available from Local Enterprise Office Waterford to help your business plan for and thrive in 2022, call 0761 102 905 or visit www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/

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