NEW LOOK FOR LOCAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO PROMOTE IRELAND’S SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMY

A new campaign by the Local Enterprise Offices has been launched by The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English and Minister for State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy today to encourage consumers and businesses to “Look for Local” following a challenging year for small businesses across the country.

The “Look for Local” campaign, which is funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, aims to highlight small Irish businesses in every sector, asking that individuals look to support businesses in their locality when looking for goods or services.

Since January, the Local Enterprise Offices have approved over 11,000 Trading Online Vouchers for small Irish businesses, helping them to create or adapt their online trading presence under the National Digital Strategy. This was one of the most significant supports for local businesses, along with the Business Continuity Voucher, enabling them to trade online, when physical trade was reduced or restricted.NO FEE TÁNAISTE LOOK FOR LOCAL LAUNCH JB12.jpg

The campaign will be promoted by Local Enterprise Offices across the country along with Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities who will all be promoting the Look for Local message over the coming months. It will be supported by national and local advertising and marketing. The campaign will highlight Local Enterprise Office client companies across a range of sectors to spotlight the options out there for those who want to Look for Local in the coming months.

This year the Local Enterprise Offices have approved over 12,060 Business Continuity Vouchers to small businesses to help them through the pandemic restrictions while over 55,000 individuals have received Covid-19 specific mentoring or training from their Local Enterprise Office.

In 2019 Local Enterprise Office supported companies created 3,149 jobs across the country. In total the Local Enterprise Offices have financially supported over 7,400 companies who support 38,535 jobs in communities nationwide.

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said; “We want to remind people that even with restrictions in place, you can still shop local – whether the shops are physically open or selling products through click and collect services.

“We all want to have a safe Christmas. Retailers have made huge sacrifices to keep us all safe and I know many have worked hard to adapt and move online. When picking up gifts this Christmas, it’s crucial that we do so safely to prevent the spread of the virus.

“It’s been a really tough year for business owners, their staff and families. I know many people are already looking to support their local business this Christmas. We hope this campaign builds on the upsurge that is already there and encourages people to explore their local retailer this year. Small businesses employ over one million people here, they are a crucial part of our economy and I hope we can all get behind them this Christmas.”NO FEE TÁNAISTE LOOK FOR LOCAL LAUNCH JB9.jpg

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, aims to highlight small Irish businesses in every sector, asking that people continue to build on the recent groundswell of support shown to local businesses when looking to buy goods or services.

The Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English T.D., said; “It has been a year like no other for many Irish businesses and retailers. The Government have assisted thousands of local businesses since the onset of Covid-19 to pivot and change the way they operate through the Business Continuity Voucher and the Trading Online Voucher from the Local Enterprise Offices. Many are now in a stronger position to meet the needs of their customers who will ‘Look for Local’ when they are in a position to spend with them and in doing so, they will help sustain local jobs in their communities.”

The Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy T.D. said; “Ireland’s small businesses are an integral part of our communities, towns and economy. The Look for Local campaign is an opportunity for everyone to think closer to home as we begin our Christmas preparations. In the past year, I know many Irish businesses have transformed how they provide goods and services due to the pandemic and are now open for business over the phone or online. Looking to local businesses when and as you can, and by using collection or home delivery services where its available, means you can shop locally and safely in the run up to Christmas and support local jobs and communities.”

In 2019 Local Enterprise Office supported companies created 3,149 new jobs across the country. In total the Local Enterprise Offices have financially supported over 7,400 companies who support 38,535 jobs in communities right across the country.

Several Local Enterprise Office companies who availed of supports in recent months to help them through the impact of the pandemic were in attendance at the launch at Fresh – The Good Food Market, in Capital Docks, Dublin, themselves a recipient from Enterprise Ireland’s Online Retail Scheme. This included Uniformal, who pivoted mid-pandemic from premium uniforms for the hospitality and corporate sector to premium PPE with assistance from their LEO. Another client was Le Patissier a handmade desserts and patisserie, who lost 90% of their business when the pandemic hit only to change to an online selling model thanks to a Trading Online Voucher and the Client Stimulus fund from their LEO and who now are getting huge demand online for their products.

The campaign will be promoted by Local Enterprise Offices across the country along with Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities who will all be promoting the ‘Look for Local’ message over the coming months. It will be supported by national and local advertising and marketing. The campaign will highlight Local Enterprise Office client companies across a range of sectors to spotlight the options out there for those who want to ‘Look for Local’ in the coming monthsNO FEE TÁNAISTE LOOK FOR LOCAL LAUNCH JB2.jpg

Oisin Geoghegan, chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, said; “This has been one of the most challenging years for Irish businesses in recent history. The Local Enterprise Offices have been working closely with thousands of companies and entrepreneurs to provide financial and training supports to help them navigate these unprecedented times. Now we want to try and encourage more consumers, but also businesses, to look local if they require goods or services. If they are looking online, we want them to see if there is someone local who can help them and to try to support the small businesses and jobs in their local communities. Small businesses across the country have had to pivot or change their models during this year and now more than ever they deserve our support.”

Richard Murphy, Manager LEO Support, Policy & Co-ordination Unit, Enterprise Ireland said; “The Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland have been on the front line of helping businesses throughout this pandemic and have played a significant role in supporting thousands of businesses. The Look for Local campaign is a chance to highlight all local businesses, not just those operating in the retail sector, but in all sectors. Similarly the campaign will encourage consumers and businesses alike to look locally for their goods and services, supporting local economies across the country.”

Ann Marie Farrelly, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council and Chair of the CCMA Business, Enterprise and Innovation Committee said; “Local authorities are delighted to support the ‘Look for Local’ campaign and all efforts to showcase and celebrate local enterprise. Small businesses and retailers are the lifeblood of our cities, towns and villages, providing vital economic activity and employment opportunities. They have faced unprecedented challenges since March and local authorities have been working to support them as much as possible. We would urge all consumers and businesses to do the same, and to look out for Irish businesses this Christmas.”

The campaign will run for several weeks 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. For more information on the campaign go to www.LocalEnterprise.ie/LookforLocal and agencies, businesses and consumers will also be encouraged to use #LookforLocal on social media to help support the campaign.

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