The Green Party is urging people to shop locally and support small businesses this Christmas, and to make this 'Black Friday' a 'Green Friday' in support of the “Green Friday” campaign.
Covid-19 restrictions have had a severe impact on small businesses, and campaigners are calling for people to shop online at Irish businesses or hold off on holiday shopping until early December when local retail outlets reopen.
Dr Bláithín Gallagher - National Coordinator of the Green Party/An Comhaontas Glas said: "If there was ever a time to buy local, it is now. Black Friday promotions are, for the most part, run by large international companies and are hugely damaging for the local economy, especially this year when shops have been closed.
"Consumers have to realise the amount of power they have with the money they spend and where they spend it. Christmas shopping has already started so we need to spend our money on local businesses. Local craft workers and small businesses have so much to offer.”
Gallagher continued: "Buying online from a local business on Black Friday or waiting a week or two to shop in person will make a huge difference to your local area this Christmas. Money spent locally circulates locally. I want to call on everybody to really think about where they are spending their money. Even if they only divert a fiver or a tenner more a week towards supporting local businesses, it will help people enormously and prevent job losses.”
Green Party Spokesperson for Rural Development and Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Senator Róisín Garvey, said: “I have been working to promote Buy Irish in the Seanad and instigated a Lean on Me campaign that enabled shops without websites to have an online option, which was very successful. Before we click on Amazon or any of the big guys, remember they don’t put any money in any pockets here, you’re sending all your money out of the country.
"We need to focus on a circular economy where you are keeping your money locally, so we support our businesses and business owners who work very hard. We all know how hard self-employed people work and small business owners work to keep their jobs going for their employees. It is a very difficult time because of Covid-19 now and Brexit coming down the road, so we really need to support our own."