A new campaign by Local Enterprise Offices is urging consumers to look local when they are shopping for products, services and experiences this summer.
The Look for Local campaign, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities, aims to raise awareness of the benefit of spending in people's local area.
Every €10 spent locally on Irish products generates more than €40 of benefit to the local community in terms of employment, according to a recent ISME Shop Local Report
Research has shown that Irish consumers were 83% more likely to look local for products and services in 2021.
The new campaign launched today aims to strengthen that sentiment and to educate consumers on the domino effect that local spending has throughout their community.
The Local Enterprise Offices last year approved over 13,000 Trading Online Vouchers which enabled small businesses to set up an online trading presence.
This marked an increase of over 950% on the previous year and helped small businesses to keep the virtual doors open, when the physical ones were shut.
This along with training, mentoring, sector and issue specific consultancy and financial supports helped thousands of businesses to continue to trade and sustain themselves ahead of this summer's reopening.
Launching the new campaign, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that it is more important than ever to look for local and support the small businesses in your community.
Mr Varadkar said it was wonderful to see so many small businesses reopen recently, after what has been an exceptionally difficult period and as the vaccine programme ramps up further, he hopes to see many more open their doors.
"We're hoping for a really busy summer for our small businesses across the country. Over one million people are employed by a small business in Ireland more than the public sector and multi-nationals combined. I encourage everyone to support these jobs and look for local in their own community," he added.
Padraic McElwee, chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, said that since the onset of Covid-19, the Local Enterprise Offices have been working closely with small businesses across the country to help sustain them with financial supports, training, mentoring and consultancy for all areas of their business.
"Every Euro you spend with a local business is an investment in the community around it and the quality of goods, services and experiences on our doorstep is second to none. Not only that but it makes a positive environmental, economic and societal impact," Padraic McElwee said.
"This summer we are asking everyone to Look for Local and support businesses and jobs in their community," he added.
Mark Christal, Divisional Manager of Regions and Entrepreneurship at Enterprise Ireland, said the new campaign aims to place small Irish businesses in the spotlight, asking people to support businesses in their region.
"Over the last 15 months, many Enterprise Ireland companies have adjusted and pivoted to ensure that local services remain in business. This resilience is particularly evident in the regions and within local communities and Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting these businesses," he said.
"Recently we announced €5m in grants to the retail sector through a third call of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme. The last funding round saw more than two thirds of grants going to companies outside Dublin," he added.