‘Look for Local’ campaign backs local Irish businesses

A new campaign by the Local Enterprise Offices urges consumers to ‘Look for Local’ when shopping for products, services and experiences this summer.

A new ‘Look for Local’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the benefit of spending in your local area.

Research that was carried out as part of the first Look for Local campaign in November 2020 showed that Irish consumers were 83pc more likely to look local for products and services in 2021.

“Every Euro you spend with a local business is an investment in the community around it and the quality of goods, services and experiences on our doorstep is second to none”

The new campaign aims to strengthen that sentiment and to educate consumers on the domino effect that local spending has throughout their community.

Every €10 spent locally on Irish products generates more than €40 of benefit to the local community in terms of employment, according to the ISME Shop Local Report 2020.

“It’s more important than ever to look for local and support the small businesses in your community,” said An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, TD. “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.”

Promoting small businesses

The Local Enterprise Office’s “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.

“Since the onset of Covid-19, the Local Enterprise Offices have been working closely with small businesses across the country to help sustain them with financial supports, training, mentoring and consultancy for all areas of their business,” said Padraic McElwee, chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices. “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 community around it and the quality of goods, services and experiences on our doorstep is 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 Offices approved over 13,000 Trading Online Vouchers which enabled small businesses to set up an online trading presence.  This was up over 950% from the year previous (1,218) and 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.

“The “Look for Local” campaign aims to place small Irish businesses in the spotlight, asking people to support businesses in their region,” said Mark Christal divisional manager for Regions and Entrepreneurship at Enterprise Ireland.

“Over the last 15 months, many Enterprise Ireland companies have adjusted and pivoted to ensure that local services remain in business. This resilience is particularly evident in the regions and within local communities and Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting these businesses. Recently we announced €5m in grants to the retail sector through a third call of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme. The last funding round saw more than two thirds of grants going to companies outside Dublin.

“It is an important measure as the country continues to reopen and provide a safe and secure shopping environment for customers, both in store and online. Despite the pandemic, the resilience shown by local businesses is a clear indicator that innovative and entrepreneurial activity will continue to drive our country forward. Now more than ever these businesses deserve our support and I would encourage both businesses and consumers alike to Look for Local when shopping around for products and services this summer.”

The campaign will run for across the Summer on media and profiling will continue until the end of the year to help spotlight local businesses across the country and encourage people to Look for Local.

“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,” said Ann Marie Farrelly, chief executive of Fingal County Council and chair of the CCMA Business, Enterprise and Innovation Committee.

“Small businesses and retailers are the lifeblood of our cities, towns and villages, providing vital economic activity and employment opportunities. Local enterprise has 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.”

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

Published: 9 July 2021