Thursday, 25 June 2020
A badly needed injection of €875 million to the local economy is possible if each adult in the country spent just €20 extra a week in small businesses, for the next 12 weeks, the Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), Sven Spollen-Behrens, said today at the launch of Champion Green in Dublin city centre.
Supported by Kilkenny Design and Visa, in association with Retail Excellence, Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland, Champion Green is a consumer marketing initiative backed by a €1M investment to drive support for local business and enterprise.
“This small conscious decision to support local would have a huge, positive impact on jobs and the vibrancy of towns and local communities”, the head of the SFA explained.
“With most businesses now re-opened, we are appealing to consumers to use the coming weeks as an opportunity to focus on shopping local and supporting local businesses, online and in-store, as they recover from the impact of Covid-19.
‘All Rise’ is the compelling cry of the national movement which organisers say will drive the renewal of local communities and reinvigorate enterprise and economic recovery.
A green butterfly symbol represents the campaign, illustrating the potential for renewal and growth as Ireland emerges from its cocoon.
Retail group Kilkenny Design is responsible for the campaign development and Champion Green was launched today by Media personality and businesswoman, Aoibhín Garrihy, at a substantial new butterfly wall mural, painted on Camden Row in Dublin.
With the expectation that 400,000 may be unemployed by year-end, and a significant deficit in the public finances of up to €30 billion this year, it is crucial that we all understand the implications of our purchasing decisions, Marian O’Gorman, Campaign Creator & Kilkenny Design CEO, says.
“This is a drive to encourage people to do business locally, to get behind small local enterprise, and for businesses and organisations to up their support for local suppliers too. We all need to get behind Irish brands and local businesses and use local services, for the sake of jobs and national prosperity”, the business leader says.
Philip Konopik, Ireland Country Manager, Visa highlighted that the national campaign to promote supporting local businesses comes at a crucial time for thousands of businesses across the country that form the backbone of the Irish economy.
“Where you shop matters and this is more important than ever before, as businesses at the heart of communities across Ireland grapple with the challenges of the pandemic. Their survival will be key to the recovery of the Irish economy.
“Visa is proud to play its part in this campaign by helping to empower Irish SMEs to take advantage of the benefits offered by digital payments and build for the future. While shoppers can feel secure by using digital payments, we would encourage them to think about where they shop as the local economy reopens.”
65% of Workforce in SMEs
SMEs employ 65% of Ireland’s national workforce. Work in retail alone represents 280,000 jobs and over 80% of the entire retail sector has been closed for three months, with devastating financial impact, Jean McCabe, Deputy Chair of Retail Excellence, says.
“With health and social welfare running up unprecedented spending, Ireland will need absolutely everyone to get behind local industry and jobs, if we are to emerge from this crisis situation.
Tourism and hospitality has been wiped out, retail and manufacturing is struggling, while many services can still not resume. If the people of Ireland do not support local now, and into the future, many may not resume,” the business representative warned.
The extensive Champion Green advertising and public information campaign provides a digital hub of resources for businesses and service-providers to signal that they are locally owned or employ locally, and to promote products and brands designed or made in Ireland.
A Champion Green Pledge to support can be made online, http://championgreen.ie/, and will circulate on social media so people better understand the positive impact their choices can have.
A recent survey by the Kilkenny Design group indicated that 84% of people prefer to buy from local suppliers, sentiment it is hoped that Champion Green can leverage.
Turnover in the business economy and almost 39% of Gross Value Added is attributed to SMEs, according to the Small Firms Association. Furthermore, small business accounts for as much as 93% of construction employment and 70% of services employment in Ireland.