Champion Green reveals €1m drive to boost local economy

Champion Green, the national movement to drive recovery of small business, has launched its 2021 programme in support of the local economy.

A new €1m investment has been revealed by Champion Green to drive consumer support for local enterprise and to help SMEs adapt their business.

Supported by Kilkenny Design and Visa, in association with Retail Excellence, Small Firms Association and Chambers of Commerce Ireland, the #ChampionGreen movement is about highlighting the simple ways everyone can make a difference.

“There will be brighter days ahead and, in the meantime, we need to all look after each other and support our local communities”

The campaign encourages the public to shop and to ‘click local’ to help businesses in their community bounce back and thrive again.

“Change is in the air as we look forward to the country reopening in the coming months,” Champion Green founder and Kilkenny Design CEO, Marian O’Gorman.

“We are encouraging business owners to keep their spirits high, keep driving their business online, and grasp the green shoots of recovery.”

The initiative comes on the heels of a €1m Green Christmas initiative that encouraged the public to support local firms online.

Shop local

“This year’s St Patrick’s Day will be a lot different than previous years unfortunately, but we can still make the most of it,” said Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD.

“A great way to celebrate would be to support your local businesses, and this Champion Green campaign is a great reminder to people to consider what is on their doorstep and shop local. Hope is on the horizon. There will be brighter days ahead and, in the meantime, we need to all look after each other and support our local communities.”

To support SMEs’ consumer marketing, businesses can access a new marketing toolkit on championgreen.ie, free of charge.  By signing-up on the Champion Green website they can also avail of business support, webinars and the latest news, while national campaign advertising explains how money spent locally supports local jobs and services. 

Champion Green social media channels are also used to motivate support for local businesses and to communicate offers from small businesses countrywide.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local communities, but so many have been hit hard by the pandemic,” said Dominic White, Acting Country Manager, Ireland, Visa.

“We’re committed to supporting small businesses in Ireland, and proud to be working hand in hand with Champion Green to celebrate our small businesses and the value they bring to our local communities.

“Our partnership with Champion Green forms part of Visa’s long-term commitment to champion small businesses.  Visa has been drawing on its network of industry, technology and community partners to provide much needed assistance to the small business sector as they rebuild for recovery.”

Recent research commissioned by Visa indicated that consumers are keen to support local business wherever possible, with 75pc of people saying they feel better about themselves when shopping locally. 

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 9 March 2021