According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), there are nearly 250,000 small to medium businesses operating across Ireland, many of which are located right here in County Roscommon. And, while at one time we viewed Brexit as being the biggest threat to our local economy, it’s now clear the negative impact of Covid-19 – with its fallout resulting in major economic uncertainty – has proved more problematic. Therefore, the need to shop local has never been more important.
Here’s six reasons why people should support the Roscommon Chamber/Roscommon People ‘Shop local’ campaign…
Small local Roscommon businesses can offer us that one-of-a-kind item we won’t find at their larger chain store equivalents. Ask yourself this question…how many times have you found yourself turning up at the company barbeque or a family christening wearing the same outfit as three other people? Yes, mortified!
When we shop local we’re supporting our neighbours and our communities. Remember, the lady who owns the local shop is also the mother who shares the burden of bringing your child to his/her GAA practice, possibly even sponsoring their training kit!
Shopping in Roscommon Town (and county) means our lovely shops will continue to grow and expand, resulting in them not only providing additional products for us to enjoy, but also providing more jobs, showing other start-ups that this county is a desirable place in which to do business. When this happens, more and more people will naturally become attracted to the county, the economy will get a major boost, and more public services will be made available. It’s a win-win!
Car parking fees, fines, clamping, restrictive enforcement rules and regulations, and lack of available spaces have diluted the shopping experience in most towns across Ireland, with motorists paying as much as €3.20 an hour for a space! But not here in Roscommon, where – uniquely – a county town boasts a highly attractive free parking policy, something which can only serve to enhance its popularity, thus positively impacting on its economic development. More shoppers means not just more jobs, it also means more choice!
When you shop local you automatically get a more personalised service. This is because the business owner often knows his/her customers/clients, greeting them on a first-name basis. They ask about their families, their lives, and, in getting to know them, they can automatically provide them with a better service. This is a direct contrast to the bigger chain stores, some of which tend to view customers as a nameless consumer with money to spend!
A local business, whether it’s a haberdashery, bespoke boutique, gift shop, hotel/restaurant/coffee shop/artisan bakery/grocery store or hair and beauty salon, etc., will always go that extra mile… for example, providing creative window displays that serve to not only enhance, but to add character to a small town, city or village.
* So, this weekend, rediscover Roscommon post-lockdown and shop local…you know it makes sense!