For Oisín Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise at Fingal’s Local Enterprise Office, the ‘LookforLocal’ campaign is the key message to consumers this Christmas.
Also chair of the national LEO network, Oisín said he was really pleased to see so many businesses and consumers getting behind the #LookforLocal message.
He told Dublin Gazette: “We’ve never experienced so many Irish businesses who’ve bought into acknowledging the importance of shopping and buying local, as a consequence of Covid.
“Communities have galvanised behind our Look for Local campaign, and are really getting behind and supporting local traders, service providers and producers.
“Our local economy depends on the support of consumers so that small businesses will survive these challenging times. LookforLocal really emphasises this message. We at LEO encourage every consumer to try and make their first port of call a local outlet or supplier.”
He continued: “We also have the Shop Fingal initiative where we are actively helping small businesses to promote themselves, to ensure they get their message out to consumers and to other businesses that their doors are open.”
Fingal County Council has facilitated the opening of a series of ‘parklets’ helping retailers, cafes and restaurants in towns and villages to attract business.
Trading Online Vouchers (TOVs) provide a grant of €2,500 to help a business develop their online sales platform and thereby increase their consumer base.
“We’ve already approved 700 in Fingal so far, since the pandemic struck,” said Oisin. “It really has helped in a practical way to help small businesses stay open, stay trading and in many cases, to grow their sales.”
“Despite the current challenges, we at LEO aim to promote entrepreneurship, foster business start-ups and develop existing micro and small businesses to drive job creation and to provide accessible high quality supports for your business ideas,” concluded Oisín.