As shoppers get ready to take advantage of Black Friday bargains, the push is on to encourage more of them to shop local, buy Irish and think green.
According to business group Isme, every €10 spent here on Irish products generates about €40 of onward benefit to the local community.
With just four weeks remaining before Christmas, Isme is appealing to consumers to avoid large retailers and instead back local businesses, many of which face uncertain times ahead as Brexit looms.
“Buying from locally owned businesses keeps money circulating closer to where you spend. Local shops use local services, accountants, insurance brokers and suppliers, as well as employing local people, and they also carry a higher percentage of locally produced goods,” said Isme chief executive Neil McDonnell.
“By shopping locally we support our towns and villages and keep our butchers, jewellers, pharmacies, brewers, distillers, confectioners, post offices, fashion, electronics and hardware stores, and all our local shopkeepers in business,” he added.
Separately, more than 300 small retailers across the State are teaming up for Green Friday, an initiative aimed at encouraging people to consider the environment and other factors when making purchases in the run-up to Christmas.
“The Irish retail industry is primarily made up of small, family-owned, indigenous companies, and in supporting them, we are supporting our communities to stay strong, relevant and vibrant in among the many international retailers we have here in Ireland,” said Green Friday co-founder Bronwyn Connolly.
“Black Friday as a sales concept doesn’t really work for small business, particularly those involved in the artisan production or craft side of things. We need to show that we have something alternative to offer, that we value the time, energy, skill and dedication that goes into building a sustainable small business and find ways to take the pressure off small businesses to compete in the same way.” she added.