Virgin Media’s #BackingBusiness initiative was introduced to support the recovery of Irish SMEs.

As the impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt across the Irish economy, supporting our local SMEs has never been more important.  

Despite a number of businesses reopening across Ireland over the last couple of weeks, almost 900,000 workers remain on the government’s income support scheme.

In May, Virgin Media, Ireland’s leading connected entertainment provider, announced that the company would be supporting the recovery of Irish SMEs that were severely impacted by the pandemic through its €1 million #BackingBusiness initiative.

The initiative gives Irish SMEs free on-air advertising with creative, production, profiles in relevant TV programmes and social media promotion across its full schedule covering Virgin Media Channels One, Two and Three, Virgin Media.

The campaign started in June with three SMEs being selected each week and has been hugely successful to date. Across Virgin Media One, Two and Three, the Backing Business advertisements for each of the selected Irish SMEs have had more than 2,000,000 views. Across the #BackingBusiness social media posts, the selected business videos have been viewed more than 250,000 times.

Supported businesses have seen significant rises in traffic to their websites, huge increases in sales and overall positive results from being featured on the campaign.

The company have selected the three businesses who will feature as part of this week’s initiative.

Killarney-based Cahernane House Hotel who, like all other hotels, closed their doors in March but have since reopened for business on June 29th.The entire team in Cahernane House Hotel are looking forward to welcoming guests back through their doors and are heavily promoting staycations as an option for this summer holiday period.

They will be joined by Wicklow-based Flanagan Kerins Furniture, who immediately moved their business online once lockdown came into effect in March and began offering contactless doorstep delivery for online orders. Since the recent reopening of their physical store, they are now offering private showings to anyone in vulnerable groups as well as in store collection.

The third business, fashion retailer Pamela Scott, based in Ballymount, Dublin, ran a campaign highlighting how they cater for every woman in Ireland and would continue to do so throughout the pandemic. This allowed them to speak to new customers and increase their customer base. They have now reopened stores across the country and are delighted to be welcoming new and returning customers.

All three businesses will feature on Virgin Media’s weekly 60” ad break campaign and will also be promoted across Virgin Media’s official social media channels.

How to enter

The Virgin Media #BackingBusiness initiative is designed to underpin the renewal and recovery of businesses in communities throughout Ireland in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

It’s open to businesses across the country and aims to give them a national platform to showcase their resilience and ingenuity during these challenging times. It will feature as many Irish businesses as possible and entering is easy.

All business owners have to do is to send in a short email, outlining who and where they are, some of their main products or services and how they have coped and reinvented themselves through the current crisis.

The ideal way to do this is to take a short video by mobile phone (including shots of the business premises). You can simply email submissions to backingbusiness@virginmedia.ie or WhatsApp them on 089 611 1111.

By Stephen Larkin

Published: 9 July, 2020

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