Thousands of retailers and makers countrywide are calling on shoppers to turn Black Friday green, later this month, in a bid to stem the closure of small businesses and to protect jobs.
Traditionally one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Champion Green organisers say that shopping locally on Green Friday, and keeping money within local communities, is the best Christmas gift possible for the 40% of workers in Ireland who lost jobs because of Covid.
SPEND GOING ABROAD
Whether online, in-store or in-person, the message is to please connect with a local business this Christmas, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, says.
“Right across the country small businesses are struggling. And, if they fail, the whole country is poorer for it, literally. The simple act of buying gifts locally this year gives back to each and every one of us in Irish society”.
A serious challenge is that 70% of online sales in Ireland actually represent money being spent abroad.
By selecting the same or comparable product on Irish websites, or from local businesses, shoppers become part of the solution to the massive pandemic hit to the economy, trade groups backing Champion Green maintain.
“We are calling for businesses, individuals and media outlets to support the push to turn Black Friday green on November 27th.
“SMEs employ 70% of the private sector workforce and the people working for them need your support,” Sven Spollen-Behrens, Director of the Small Firms Association says.
Christmas trade, which normally starts in September, can represent 50% of annual turnover in some sectors, according to Duncan Graham, Retail Excellence CEO.
“Retail is Ireland’s largest industry and our largest private sector employer, in every city, town and village across the country.
“Local jobs relate directly to local prosperity, so the plea for consumers to shop locally on Green Friday is crucially important”.
Almost two out of every five jobs in Ireland have been affected, with employers and workers relying on wage subsidies or the pandemic unemployment payment, and the worst hit sectors including retail and hospitality.
The trade organisations Retail Excellence, the Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland have come together, under the Champion Green banner, to emphasise the need for consumers and business to support local.
The support local movement was created by Kilkenny Design, and is backed by card company Visa.
Corporate partners include Aviva, An Post, Xtremepush and SSE Airtricity and over 5,000 small businesses have used the business and marketing supports provided.