Dundalk looks to attract business from Northern Ireland with a competitive exchange rate and keep locals shopping south of the border.
After years of suffering socially and economically because of its proximity to the border, Dundalk in County Louth is thriving. However the cost of goods in the Republic of Ireland means that many shoppers are still going across the border to shop in Northern Ireland.
Local traders, vintners and restaurants in Dundalk Town, County Louth are implementing a campaign reverse this trend, while also actively seeking shoppers from Northern Ireland.
The campaign is instigated by the Dundalk Street Traders Association. Gerry Grimes explains,
We felt that there was a customer base in Northern Ireland, that would be taking their holiday during the July period and we thought we should tap into that.
The key to the project is that it offers a very competitive exchange rate with sterling. To ensure its success, a large advertising campaign has been undertaken in the Northern press.
Gerry Grimes says the campaign is already showing signs of success.
Probably more sterling taken over the last week than we’ve had for several weeks before that, so Northern Irish shoppers are stopping in numbers.
The Mandate Trade Union which represents a number of service sector workers in the town and says its members suffered badly over a number of years with people going north to shop. They warmly welcome campaign but wish it had happened earlier.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 July 2004. The reporter is Richard Dowling.