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While there’s no love lost between the party leaders in the new Dáil, ISME, the Irish SME Association is appealing to Irish consumers to embrace Valentine’s Day and make a real effort to ‘shop local’ and ‘buy Irish.’

Every €10 spent locally on Irish products generates more than €40 of benefit to the local community in terms of employment. The retail sector employs more people than any other sector in the Irish economy. Retailers and suppliers are currently under significant pressure; with rising insurance costs and Brexit it’s more important than ever to shop local.

Commenting on the importance of shopping local ISME CEO Neil McDonnell said:

‘Local shops use local services, accountants, insurance brokers, and suppliers. As well as employing local people your SMEs also carry a higher percentage of locally produced goods. While online shopping is a resource for many buyers, the importance of quality, traceability, and value-for-money of Irish products should be remembered.’
Neil added
Remember to shop SME for floral and gift ideas, not forgetting short breaks - Valentine’s Day is on a Friday this year after all!

ISME VALEBTINES DAY SHOP LOCAL

What our members say

Colm Healy, the owner of Skelligs Chocolate in Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry:
“Local businesses are part of the fabric of the local community, providing a focal point in every village, town and city in Ireland. If you value where you live, and want it to thrive, buy local.”

For Valentine’s Day, David Cox, CEO, Fragrances of Ireland in Kilmacanoge, Co. Wicklow:
“We here at Inis the Energy of the Sea believe in small business. It is our privilege to partner with unique shops and boutiques both in Ireland and in many other countries across the world, with our signature scent. This Valentine’s Day, we hope everyone takes the opportunity to purchase something special for their loved ones from their local gift and boutique stores.”

Dublin’s Wicklow Street Clinic, Manager, Jenny Boyce:
‘’Customers shouldn’t be afraid of popping into beauty salons in the run up to Valentine’s Day; whether you want to make an appointment for a facial, or you want to purchase a voucher for your Valentine. Our therapists feel that shopping shouldn’t be a faceless pastime. Consumers should enjoy the interaction of touching products and speaking to shop assistants. Irish consumers should remember that by supporting Irish SMEs this Valentine’s Day, they are supporting people, not shareholders.”

Nuala Woulfe, Owner, Nuala Woulfe Serenity Spa Serenity Day Spa, in Sandycove, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin:
‘’Independent businesses create and offer choice. By supporting your local small business, you’re directly putting money back into your own community. This Valentine’s Day, book some ‘Me Time’ with a Spa Treat’’

Ailish Connolly and Liz Greehy of Kilbaha Gallery in Loop Head, Co. Clare:
‘We are a small family business employing locally and also using many local suppliers, so when our customers ‘shop local’ their money is filtering into the local economy in a big way; through our staff, our bakers, our artists, our crafters, our local post office, and other small business suppliers. We, and all our staff have a shop local policy too. We try to keep our own spends within the locality or certainly within the County where possible. Businesses need to support each other.”