Business group Isme is appealing to consumers to back local businesses today, Black Friday, and in the lead up to Christmas. 

Isme says local shops use local services, accountants, suppliers, as well as employing local people.

They also carry a higher percentage of locally produced goods.

Meanwhile, the Green Friday campaign is also asking people to think of the local economy, support jobs and help nurture the country's creative community, manufacturers and service providers by buying Irish. 

The initiative, led by Marian O'Gorman, CEO of retail group Kilkenny, is backed by trade associations including the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Retail Excellence, Chambers Ireland.

The Small Firms Association and Irish brands and retail businesses countrywide are also behind the campaign.

The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events have been enthusiastically embraced by consumers here, with more than €50m spent over the course of the weekend last year, but with much of that spend leaving the country.

Up to €4.65 billion will be spent by Irish consumers during the Christmas period, based on research by Retail Ireland.

SFA Director Sven Spollen-Behrens said that Christmas can add a major economic impetus when shoppers back small businesses and help maintain jobs. 

"If each adult spent just €20 extra in small local businesses this Christmas, this would amount to an injection of over €73m for small firms and would have a huge, positive impact on local jobs and the vibrancy of town and village centres," he added.

Meanwhile, over 300 retailers in the cities, towns and villages nationwide are teaming up to show shoppers their alternative to the Black Friday movement which is dominated by large retailers all over the world. 

Small Irish local and individual and family run businesses in Ireland said that while they may not be able to offer sweeping discounts like the big business giants do, they are doing something extra special for consumers.