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Liz Greehy and Ailish Connolly, proprietors of Kilbaha Gallery and Crafts. Photograph by John Kelly.

West Clare gallery urging people to shop local this summer

THE owners of a West Clare art gallery are urging the public to shop local this summer, writes Jessica Quinn.

Kilbaha Gallery has backed the newly launched Irish SME Association (ISME) ‘Shop Local’ campaign for consumers and businesses.

Liz Greehy, co-owner of Kilbaha Gallery, said, “Here at Kilbaha Gallery we have been so lucky to be surrounded by a wonderfully supportive community on Loop Head who have always made shopping local a priority.

“Throughout Covid, although our doors were firmly closed, our business was actively trading online and the support we received nationally in Ireland from people prioritising Irish purchases was outstanding.

“This was wonderful for us as a gallery but also the benefits of which were felt right through to the homes of the artists themselves who were delighted to be able to continue producing and selling truly great art and bringing a smile to homes throughout the country.

“Shopping locally and within Ireland produces a very important ripple effect to the local economy.”

To highlight products and services from SMEs across Ireland, a new online portal has been developed to support SMEs and service providers operating in the Business-to-Business (B2B) sector.
The campaign is centred around the slogan “Shop SMALL & Send BIG LOVE” in order to support local SMEs in person and online this summer and throughout the year.

The portal, https://isme.ie/supportB2B, is a one stop shop for B2B products and services and provides information on local services such as legal and financial services, IT and marketing, transport, office support products and services and more. The platform compliments the current Business-to-Consumer summer spending campaign, which hosts a variety of categories such as activities and entertainment, fashion, food and drink, retail, and Irish breaks.

With many travel restrictions still in place, the campaign also encourages staycations in Ireland to support local SMEs in the hospitality and retail sectors.

Over the past year, ISME has encouraged consumers to support local businesses, who have suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is further amplified by rising insurance costs and Brexit associated costs.

Every €10 spent locally on Irish products generates more than €40 of benefit to the local community in terms of employment, which highlights the added benefit of supporting Irish.

Neil McDonnell, chief executive at ISME, said, “It is not just as a response to Covid-19 that we should focus on local spending, but also to look long term at supporting Irish businesses.

“As well as employing local people, SMEs also carry a high percentage of locally produced goods; and revenue and employment is generated across local services, suppliers, and other small firms.”

Supporting Shop Local can be win for everyone as ISME is running regular draws until August 31.

To be in with a chance to win a selection of products /services from the businesses listed on both portals, and to support this campaign, just share hashtag #ismeshoplocal on Twitter.
To find out more about the campaign and to explore the list of businesses involved in the ‘Shop Local’ campaign click here

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