More important than ever to shop local this Christmas

Comment & Opinion

Help keep local jobs and ensure much-loved businesses’ survival

As we enter the month of December, thoughts turn to Christmas and how we can celebrate as best we can this year.
In recent days, we have all been digesting the news of another variant of Covid-19. Once again, this has shone a light on the fact that we must learn how to live with the disease and try to get on with life as best we can.
We still don’t know what steps the Government will take in the month of December to deal with the continuing high numbers, but it does seem to be trying to avoid another lockdown if at all possible.
Regardless of whether the lockdown happens, it hugely important that we try to shop local as much as we can during the month of December. Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary made a call to this effect this week, asking shoppers to remember to support the retailers and businesses on their doorsteps.
“We all know how difficult the last 18 months or so have been for local retailers and businesses,” he said. “Throughout it all they have managed to adapt quickly and have continued to provide products and services. This Christmas, we can all show our thanks, and help support retailers and businesses, by remembering to shop local. If we all decided to buy even just a gift or two from a local retailer this Christmas it would have a major impact on the local economy. It can help maintain jobs and ensure that our much-loved local businesses not only survive, but in time, thrive. This will help sustain our towns and villages as the centres of our local communities.”
As Deputy Calleary states, this has been a particularly difficult period for small businesses across the county but they have shown resilience though the pandemic and have continued to provide much-needed services for everyone.
Despite the continuing difficulties surrounding the pandemic, most families will be able to come together to celebrate Christmas 2021, and by shopping locally we can help support the jobs and the industries that keep out communities alive and prospering.
We have all seen the temptations that come with marketing campaigns like last week’s Black Friday, but in truth, there is great value to be had in stores and shops across Mayo, and after a quiet November, the business people of the county will be hoping for a busy few weeks in the run up to Christmas.
Many of these local businesses are part of the very fabric and tradition of all our communities, and if they are going survive, they have to receive the support of those communities in which they operate.
The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association CEO Neil McDonnell has also emphasised the need to shop local this Christmas, especially in the face of Brexit, with extra charges appearing on orders from the UK.
So the message is clear from Government and the business sector in general, please do your best to spend your hard-earned money in your locality this Christmas, and hopefully we can still enjoy the festivities as best we can in the difficult circumstances.