Back to School and Champion Green

September 08, 2021

Hundreds of ‘Treats for a Tenner’ from local businesses is part of a renewed drive for Champion Green Week, encouraging shoppers to stay local and to shop local this autumn.
Running from September 6th to 12th, the shop local campaign comprises consumer marketing and small business supports to emphasise the significance of the local economy, and help ensure the survival of SMEs.

It was launched in Dublin by Damien English TD, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail.

Minister Damien English said “I want to acknowledge the importance of supporting local businesses at this time, as we exit the pandemic and are approaching a more normal trading environment. In addition to driving forward our small businesses, looking out for local enterprises and shopping locally allows consumers to impact their community, both economically and environmentally, as well as producing societal impacts that benefit everyone in the community.”

Shoppers can check out for top bargains at just a tenner each, many heavily discounted by as much as 60% by local makers, stores and service providers.

Small business represents the bulk of Irish enterprise and employs two-thirds of people in the private sector, generating 46% of turnover, Sven Spollen Behrens, Small Firms Association Director, said, calling on people to shop more consciously.

“If every household in the country spent just €10 extra during Champion Green Week on a ‘Treat for a Tenner’, that’s a huge €1m injection into the local economy that’s badly needed”.

49% Increase Local Spend

A Champion Green survey in June showed greater recognition of the need to support local, with 49% claiming to now spend more in smaller local businesses. Over one quarter, 28% of all adults, say they spend additionally online with local businesses too.

Local retailers have been inventive and diversified, reaching out to new customers and markets, and exploring new channels, like online, Marian O’Gorman, the Champion Green founder, says.

With the pandemic alone adding €3billion to the country’s debt, it makes sense for everyone to help keep money in circulation in the country, the Kilkenny Design Group owner believes.

“There is a definite sense that more people will choose to continue shopping in their local communities in the weeks and months ahead, so retailers and service providers need to give them every reason to do so”, Marian O’Gorman says.

More than two-thirds of the €5billion that Irish consumers spend online each year disappears overseas and, by buying outside of the country, we lose the local multiplier effect, trade organisations say.

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, said at the Champion Green week launch; “Every €10 spent in the local economy could be worth up to €50 in the community. The money recirculates locally, spent on more local goods and services, producing wages which, in turn, are spent locally”.

Supported by Kilkenny Design and Visa, in association with Retail Excellence, Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland, Champion Green is about highlighting the simple ways everyone can make a difference and help the recovery of small business.

The initiative is backed by a €1m investment to drive consumer support for local enterprise and to help SMEs adapt business.

Champion Green organisers say that local shopping also reduces waste and supports sustainable local sourcing, not air-miles. So too, local businesses are a lifeline for local charities and community groups, and, by supporting the shops and businesses that make Ireland unique, we are preserving an important aspect of our identity and culture.

The economy is facing enormous challenges in the months ahead, and small businesses, which are the backbone of local communities, have been hit hard by the pandemic, says Jonathan Forde, Director, Merchant Sales and Acquiring, Ireland, Visa.

“Now more than ever, people and organisations are realising the role we can all play in the economic recovery. Every transaction with a small business, in every community around Ireland, is valuable. At Visa, we support the basic principle that ‘where you shop matters’ and shopping locally, either in person or online, makes a big difference to independent retailers and producers. Treats for a Tenner is not just another sale to them, it’s much, much more.”

As part of Champion Green Week, one small business will win a ‘readymade retail’ opportunity worth €50,000 to mark the first anniversary of the support local campaign.

Compliments of Aviva Life & Pensions and An Post, the winner will have a prime shopping unit in Blackrock Village Centre in Blackrock, County Dublin, as well as six months marketing support, totally free of charge, until the 2022 New Year.