A local authority decision to introduce free off street parking in the lead up to Christmas is already starting to pay off.
That’s the opinion put forward by Longford Chamber of Commerce President Seamus Butler this week as shoppers make their final preparations ahead of next Wednesday’s festivities.
“Anecdotally, there has been talk of a slight lift in confidence,” said the managing director of local firm Butler Manufacturing Systems.
Evidence of that gradual turnaround, he said, arrived last Saturday when attempting to find a vacant parking space in a crowded Longford Shopping Centre car park.
“It was nearly full, which even on Saturdays would be unusual,” added Mr Butler, who also pointed to the unexpected rise in temperatures as a reason for increased footfall locally.
A further incentive, he said, was the addition of five new retail outlets, typified by the likes of Shaws on the town’s Market Square.
“When you read of other provincial towns where some (retailers) are pulling out, things like this breed confidence. There is no magic bullet, that’s for sure, but all these things can only be of benefit,” he said.