The economic crisis has hit most of the Midlands region pretty hard, and businesses in Athlone have been responding with a whole range of incentives, sales, and providing good value for consumers, working together to bring new business and new visitors to the town.
“In this context of challenge we are appealing to the community, businesses, and organisations to source their goods and services locally this year,” outlined Michael O’Brien president of Athlone Chamber. “We think that retailers and the hospitality sector have an obligation to support Irish growers, producers, processors, and manufacturers. We believe that businesses need to check out the value locally before making that purchase decision.
“We appeal,” added Mr O’Brien, “to all citizens in the general locality to consider checking out the huge choice and value that is available in the region before making that journey elsewhere for purchases.”
According to a Bord Bia survey published last November some 62 per cent of people agree that it is important to buy Irish products to support the economy.
“When you shop locally you are supporting members of your own community who also have a vested interest in the health wellbeing and success of the community. This is about supporting local businesses and buying local products. Buying local food is good for our purses, our health, our landscape, our community, and our local economy,” added Mr O’Brien
“If people in the Athlone area each spent just €5 a week on local food, and local business, the multiplier effect of this would generate €75,000 for our local economy. This would be an extra €3.9 million circulating locally each year.”
Although the majority of people say that they would prefer to shop locally it’s not always easy to source local food. The chamber plans to work with food groups, producers, independent local food producers and retailers, farmers’ markets. and allotments and produce a local food listing and guide to make it easier for us to source local produce.