For us, this campaign is not just about the local businesses but also about our local communities. Our businesses are at the heart of our local communities, and if they are suffering, so too are our communities.
There are many ways in which shopping local assists our communities; the more obvious areas such as the maintaining and creation of local jobs, and the less obvious areas such as the support for local clubs, organisations and charities, which these local businesses provide. There is a huge interdependence between us and our local business community, never more so than in these difficult economic times.
The Galway Advertiser and the Galway City Business Association are asking everyone to think before you shop this Christmas. When you are deciding where or how to shop, think local.
The basis behind this campaign is to ensure that Galway succeeds and grows, especially in today's climate, and we're confident that with all the community and the people of Galway pulling together as a unit to support each other we will keep Galway thriving.
At The Galway Advertiser we promise we will promote this message on a weekly basis from now on. We are going to keep reminding people every week of the year that by keeping their money in Galway city and county they are responsible for the saving of jobs and the protection of the community they live in.
I love Galway and there is nothing I love more than to walk down Shop Street and its side streets, especially this time of year, taking in the sights and sounds and the buzz of such a great city. For Galwegians and people who came to this city and made it their home, and all those who care about the prosperity of this city and county, this stroll has now taken on an added significance.
We are in the midst of a very difficult economic period, and supporting local businesses should be at the forefront of all our minds. We should be walking down our streets and into the shops and giving them a chance to show us what they have to offer in terms of goods, quality, customer service and value for money.
And in return, the business community have an obligation to the people in Galway who show their support and loyalty to local businesses. We cannot expect people to blindly support this campaign; we must give them an enjoyable shopping experience. We must strive to ensure that when someone makes the choice to support local businesses and shop locally that they leave the business they have spent their money in, feeling happy in their decision to support it. The businesses must play their part.
Whether it is in the villages of the county, or the larger towns, or the city itself, it is important that we all play our role in helping our local communities to survive and to prosper. We all have spending power, whether large or small, and it is our economic future, and that of our families, our friends and our neighbours that our spending will impact directly on.
So let us take the opportunity to support each other, to promote our communities and to spend locally which will ultimately be to the benefit of us all.
If each person in Galway spent as little as €10 extra each week in local shops, this would be worth almost €100 million on an annual basis to the local economy. For every €100 spent by consumers in Galway with Locally Owned Businesses €73 stays in the local economy.
To succeed, this campaign needs people to make a genuine effort, and we would ask all the people of Galway to support this campaign, not just between now and Christmas, but into 2012 also. We do have the power to reduce the negative effects of this recession, let us use that power wisely.
Before you drive North, or get the bus or the train out of Galway, or press the 'Buy' button on-line, check out the local shops as what you want may be right here in Galway. From Clifden to Ballinasloe, and Gort to Tuam, and everywhere in between, support your local businesses, support Galway, support ourselves.