These have been very difficult years for retail in Longford and in many ways retail is regrettably the forgotten relation in national and local government strategy.
Retail remains the biggest single employer in Longford town with hundreds of jobs across multiple businesses and each and every closure chips away at the fabric of the community.
For my tenure as President of the Chamber I am absolutely committed to reinstating our commitment and resolve to defend and champion local retailers. We have the opportunity to become a bespoke retail destination and several of our retailers have taken massive strides in this direction.
We have anecdotal evidence of people who came to visit St Mel’s Cathedral from Dublin and elsewhere but continued to come back afterwards because they found shops or boutiques that suited their needs. It’s the basis of a formula that we can build on.
We have a compelling retail story to tell and we need to start selling it and equally we need to work with and support our own. It is all too easy to click on the phone and make the order but remember the same product or something similar if not superior is available locally. I’d urge everybody over the coming weeks to make an earnest effort to shop locally.
I want to wish all the people of Longford a very happy Christmas but remember for many it will be one of sorrow and for others a time of hardship. So remember those less fortunate this year and especially look out for elderly neighbours.
I’ll leave you with our Chamber mantra going forward, Shop Longford and Support Longford this Christmas and into 2018.
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