#ThinkShopSupportLocal successful campaign extended

By Maurice Garvey

THE success of a free business listing has been extended, in an effort to support more SME’s (Small to Medium Enterprises) in promoting their business to online audiences.

Launched last October, the #ThinkShopSupportLocal campaign is an initiative between The Echo, Local Enterprise Office South Dublin and South Dublin County Council.

Carnivore Kellys 1

At the announcement of the extension of the successful #ThinkShopSupportLocal online business directory campaign are Peter Connelly, LEO South Dublin, Hannah Byrne, Carnivore Kelly’s Pet Shop and Emma Kennedy, The Echo

It is a free online business directory which is promoted in the print and online editions of the newspaper and any businesses who wish to be involved are encouraged to get in touch with The Echo.

Meanwhile, LEO South Dublin say 700 small businesses have successfully drawn down Trading Online Vouchers over the last year, to upgrade their websites, improve their online facilities and increase their e-commerce presence.

Along with employing local people, micro and small businesses also carry a higher percentage of locally produced goods.

Tom Rooney, Head of Enterprise at LEO South Dublin, said the last year has increased appreciation in the community “to support local business and jobs”.

Data available to the LEO is that every €100 spent locally is worth €500 to the national economy.

“We are delighted to extend our support for the #ThinkShopSupportLocal campaign and we want to make it more successful again,” said Mr Rooney.

He said any businesses who did not follow through on their initial application for a Trading Online Vouchers, can apply again for a second voucher - which offers a grant of up to €2,500 to develop ecommerce capability.

“The last time, a lot of people applying didn’t follow through. We want them to know that we will do everything we can to help them. Pick up the phone, check the website for details, we will make it as easy as possible.”

Mr Rooney said businesses who were successful in securing a first Trading Online Voucher, can apply for a second voucher.

LEO South Dublin are running a Trading Online Voucher seminar on March 26 and another one next month.

They are also hosting “very popular” online training programmes, including classes on using Facebook and Instagram to promote your business.

Emma Kennedy, Managing Director at The Echo said: “As a small business ourselves the extended sponsorship support from LEO South Dublin is so greatly appreciated. We never envisioned the effects of the pandemic on our local businesses continuing on for so long and the impact it is having will be carried by these businesses in the months and years to come. 

“We wanted to continue supporting the local business community and by offering the local SME’s a platform of the Shop Local Directory (www.echo.ie/directory) in which they can use to promote their business to our online audience is just one of the ways in which we can help. Having the sponsorship support extended by LEO South Dublin means by them supporting The Echo we can work together in supporting all the local businesses. It really is a great fit and it also gives us an opportunity too to promote the extensive range of business supports by LEO South Dublin, on the grants available and business mentoring etc.

“We will also be working closely with LEO South Dublin on ongoing promotions of the Directory to our print and online readers, driving customers to the directory and encouraging them to support and shop local. The free directory listing is available to all local SME’s up to December 31, 2021.

“To be included all they need to do is complete a short online application form which will be then used to populate their listing, this can be found on shop-local-directory-form.”

For further information on supports visit www.localenterprise.ie/SouthDublin.

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