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01 Dec 2021

COP On – Donegal to Go Green for a Sustainable Economy!

Champion Green rallies Support for Local with Green Friday Launch

COP On – Donegal to Go Green for a Sustainable Economy!

COP On – Donegal to Go Green for a Sustainable Economy!

Donegal is being encouraged to 'Champion Green' this festive season.

'Champion Green' aims to encourage the public to shop locally to help businesses in the community bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus. 

The public is being asked to turn its back on Black and make it a Green Friday on November 26th next. 

The support local campaign has launched shopper promotions and advertising to encourage consumers to think about sustainable communities and jobs, and to shop online and instore with local businesses.

"Love local" is the message, according to Sven Spollen-Behrens, the Small Firms Association Director, who was calling on people to "choose more consciously during the busiest shopping season of the year".

He added: "It’s use it, or lose it, in very simple terms.  Jobs and prosperity in communities depends on a healthy national economy.  If we do not support local, we lose local shops, businesses and services, as well as the direct and indirect employment those businesses help sustain”.

A recent 'Champion Green' survey showed that 3 in 4 adults (77%) agreed that it is a good idea to help support their local businesses and community.  68% said they would actively do more to support local businesses this Christmas.

"Shoppers must now turn the positive sentiment into action," said Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland.

“Many smaller businesses struggled through the pandemic and now have legacy debt and lost custom to deal with.  If their recovery is not supported, they may not survive, and convenient local services and shopping are diminished”.   

Almost 1 in 4 (23%) people said they would spend more on Christmas, compared to last year, while 8% expect to spend less.  Of the 23% spending more this Christmas, the average is €290 more than 2020; while 14% will spend a considerable €500 extra this year, compared to last Christmas.

Shoppers are encouraged to check out locally produced goods and services and real bargains for Christmas on the Champion Green website at https://championgreen.ie

More than two-thirds of the €5 billion Irish consumers spend online each year goes overseas and, by buying outside of the country, we lose the local multiplier effect, according to Champion Green economist, Jim Power.

Mr Power said: “In a store or online with a local retailer, we are supporting the producers of the goods we buy and employment in the shop.  In turn, the wages earned are spent again and again.  It is estimated that every €1 spent with an Irish retailer can generate up to €2.50 in the Irish economy.

“But if I spend €1 online with an overseas retailer, that money is lost to the Irish economy entirely; it does not generate any multiplier effect.  Consumers must bear this in mind when making spending decisions”.

Dominic White, Country Manager, Ireland, Visa said: “We can all play a role in supporting our local shops and businesses. By choosing to shop local, we ensure that more of our spend stays in the local economy benefitting communities across Ireland. We encourage everyone to get behind the Champion Green campaign this Black Friday and festive season and give local businesses a much-needed boost after a challenging year.”

Supported by Kilkenny Design and VISA, in association with Retail Excellence, Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland, Champion Green is about highlighting the simple ways everyone can make a difference and help the recovery of small business.

The initiative is backed by a €1m investment to drive consumer support for local enterprise and to help SMEs recover business. 

An Post, Aviva, Maxol and AIB Merchant Services are among the corporate partners backing the support local drive with funding and marketing supports.

The pandemic pushed more local businesses online, so shopping on an Irish website this Green Friday is encouraged, rather than spending with the global multi-nationals and incurring import taxes and possible supply chain delays, Champion Green organisers say.

Evelyn Moynihan, the Kilkenny Design CEO who helps run the campaign, said local shopping also helped reduce waste, emissions and air-miles. 

“Sustainability is important in environmental terms, and means preserving living local communities. Local businesses are a lifeline for charities and community groups, and, by supporting the independent shops and businesses that make Ireland unique, we are preserving an important aspect of our identity and culture”.

Small business represents the bulk of Irish enterprise and employs two-thirds of people in the private sector, generating 46% of turnover.  Local retailers and businesses are an important revenue source for local authorities, funding vital public services.

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