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Think, Spend & Support LOCAL for Christmas and beyond

We are delighted to launch our 2023 Shop Local campaign, calling on shoppers and businesses to THINK LOCAL. We are not asking customers to confine all their festive shopping to local businesses, but we ARE asking you to ensure you devote a proportion of your Christmas shop to local bricks-and-mortar or online stores.

Local shopping for locally produced goods and services returns multiples of your spend to your community, and keeps the main street in your town active and vibrant. Because Ireland is a small, open economy, a lot of our spending as consumers is on imported goods. This limits the “multiplier” flow of wealth around the community. However, if we try to ensure at least a proportion of our purchases are locally sourced, each euro we spend can produce two, three or four euro of additional wealth in the community.

The focus of the campaign is for us all to Think Local before we buy, not just for Christmas, but throughout the year. Local spending helps to:

  • Support the local community.
  • Maintain the anchor tenants in our main streets.
  • Reduce our carbon output and transport costs.
  • Promote goods and services that are sustainable and traceable.
  • Ensure consumers get value for money and high quality.

Neil McDonnell, Chief Executive at ISME, said: “You can make a difference for local retailers and hospitality providers this Christmas through your spending decisions. You can save time, money, effort and the environment by devoting at least a portion of your festive spend to local businesses this Christmas.”

ISME has created two online portals – for consumers and one for businesses. Consumers can browse a variety of categories such as activities and entertainment, fashion, food and drink, retail, and Irish breaks which offers gift ideas for Christmas and showcases local businesses. For businesses, they can access a directory of B2B products and services such as corporate gifts, legal and financial services, IT and marketing, transport, training and more.


Some thoughts from businesses and ISME members:

“Release the Christmas spirit this year by supporting local business. Specialist shops and family-run businesses give better service, saves you money and offers support and employment back to your community. Enhance your seasonal shopping experience by including a visit to your local café, pub or hotel for a Christmas lunch or family treat as part of a day out in your town” says Alan McGrath is the CEO of Health Stores Ireland 

Tina Coy who is the Director of Operations at Accounting Pro Ireland believes that shopping local ensures every cent is put back into the local economy.

“Investment in local jobs, supporting entrepreneurs and enterprise, reducing emissions is key. Also give your cards a holiday from online purchasing and take your cash for a Christmas walk.”

Linda Murray from Play Activity Leisure Ireland added: “Shop, Play & Stay local this Christmas! With oodles of local businesses including restaurants & pubs, retail stores, entertainment center’s and comfy accommodation why not stay local for all your Christmas shopping list and Christmas party nights! And best of all …when you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance!”

To find out more about the campaign and to explore the businesses involved please visit https://isme.ie/shop-local/.