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20 May 2022

Chamber chief in festive #ShopLongford plea

Christmas shopping

The Longford public are being urged to shop local in the lead up to Christmas

Longford Chamber of Commerce president Fiona Fenelon has issued a public appeal for consumers to shop locally in the lead up to Christmas.

As we approach the 2nd anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic, unfortunately we are still living with restrictions which curtail us personally and professionally," she said.

"2021 has been a challenging year for our business community with many lows but also some highs. To kick off the year with Brexit whilst in lockdown was a major challenge to every business sector. Despite this, we have seen massive resilience among local businesses who have reimagined and reinvented their businesses in order to stay open.

"The government support has been, and still is crucial, this coupled with changing shopping habits focused on shopping local is the only way our business community can continue to succeed and thrive. There was maximum uptake for the shopfront enhancement scheme, and we hope this scheme will be repeated in 2022.

"It is very positive to witness the number of businesses who upgraded, expanded, and renovated both digitally and physically during the pandemic.

"There has been a notable improvement to the landscape of our town. It is also extremely encouraging to see the number of new businesses who opened this year throughout the town, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish them well in their new ventures.

"The hospitality sector has been the hardest hit, in particular the publicans who were closed for so long. Our local hospitality businesses have shown tremendous adaptability and innovation from outdoor seating, which was a welcome government support, to changing their business model completely to respond to the situation and restrictions.

"It is so disappointing to see this sector facing more restrictions and entering another uncertain period, during their busiest time of the year. It is imperative that these businesses and their staff are supported by the government if further restrictions are introduced.

"It is paramount that we all support our local businesses as much as possible. By shopping locally, we are supporting local jobs and our local community.

"These businesses are major employers in our town and county. They play a vital role in our community supporting local charities, sponsoring our children’s football teams, providing summer jobs and work experience to our teenage students."

Longford Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Longford Local Enterprise Office are running a multimedia campaign to drive the ‘Shop Longford’ message this Christmas.

"I appeal to you all to make a conscious effort where possible to please shop local. Every €10 spent represents €50 benefit to our local community," she added.

"Longford County Council are supporting local shopping through free off-street parking every day from December 18 to January 1.

"As we approach the end of 2021, we must look forward with optimism to the year ahead. It may not feel like it, but we are in a better place than we were this time last year and we must hope that normal life and business will return in 2022.

"We, at Longford Chamber of Commerce, are looking forward to a brighter year ahead. We are planning a return of the events we have missed so much over the past two years. We will continue to promote Longford as a great place to do business, representing our members locally and nationally.

"On behalf of our members and the Chamber council I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year."

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