After the rush of Black Friday, another very important date in the calendars of small businesses is coming up tomorrow.
Small Business Saturday on 3rd December is designed to highlight small businesses and encourage consumers to shop locally and support jobs and enterprises in their communities.
The campaign promotes the idea of making small changes to our spending which can have a hugely positive impact on the local economy.
A €10 spent locally is worth €40 to the local economy as it supports employment, the community and gives the business the opportunity to continue to operate year round.
There are more than 280,000 people working in the retail industry across Ireland with the majority of these employed in small local stores. Small local shops provide more employment than all multinationals combined.
The Christmas Season is a vital period for local businesses, and if customers support them on Small Business Saturday that will help them thrive throughout the year.
Donegal Woman spoke with retailer Serena Ward, who runs The Present Day in Ardara. Serena’s shop is stocked full of Christmas gifts and decor, and the custom she has now will give her a boost into 2017.
“It’s very important to shop local because the money goes back into the local businesses, clubs, fundraisers, charities and local schools. It keeps the town alive. If there are no local business you’re going to have no tourism. If everything is closed people will stop coming here on holidays. As well as that, more of your local shops run Christmas clubs throughout the year with 0% finance,” Serena said.
“January, February and March will be quiet months everywhere, and Christmas is our busiest time of the year, thank god. We have tourists coming for weekend breaks and shopping with us, so it’s important to support local hotels so they have somewhere to stay. Local businesses help to light up the town at Christmas.”
Clare McNickle runs Clare Clothing in Letterkenny. The fashion boutique is offering discounts before Christmas and bringing in exclusive stock for the festive season.
“This is supposedly the busiest time of the year and you need to bring in the money to sustain yourself for the next year. Shopping locally is very important for local employment. Since I moved to a new location opposite the new Dunnes Stores it has made a huge difference to my business because there is more footfall here,” Clare told Donegal Woman.
“Local retailers offer a more unique selection of goods rather than everybody dressing and buying the same things. The more independent retailers you have the more choice you have because people buy things that are different.
“At moment I have 20% of all clothes and 10% off all jewellery. That includes Rush by Dennis and Charles, which I bought at a trade fair in New York City. The collection is deal for the party season because it’s got a bit of glitz.”
Small Business Saturday is supported and promoted by Retail Excellence, which works to support the rejuvenation of small towns and Small Business Saturday complements efforts to profile these smaller towns and encourage all citizens to support local business and employment.