What was a horrible, wet, and miserable November is fast coming to a close and no one will be sorry to see the back of it this year, especially not the business people of Mayo who are praying for a busy festive shopping period to end 2012 on a high note.
There’s no doubt that the retail sector has suffered hard times and could do with a bump in sales before Christmas.
But they too must take into consideration that consumers have less disposable income than ever before what with continued pay cuts, interest rate hikes by some banks, household charges, etc, etc, etc. The pot is getting smaller and everyone is trying to be more creative about how they make their money go further.
In Mayo the retail sector have been strong in offering promotions and sales to entice customers in and this is set to continue over the coming weeks.
Value for money is the buzzword of 2012 when it comes to shopping and without doubt it is available here in Mayo. The local retail sector needs local support. Without that our towns and villages will suffer badly.
Local employers contribute so much to the local community by means of employment and their support of local organisations through sponsorship.
The Christmas cheer is beginning to surface and people are becoming more sprightly as they prepare for the annual holiday.
Christmas parties are being booked. Dresses bought, matching shoes and bags secured, hair appointments made, and these are all things that can be done without crossing the county boundary.
There’s a wealth of talent in this county when it comes to beauticians and hairdressers only dying to try out the latest styles this festive period.
Our boutiques and draperies stock the best Irish designers and up to the minute trends for any fashionista.
Mayo is fast gaining a reputation as a foodie county and so our delicatessens and gourmet food stores are offering the ideal gift for any discerning food lover - hampers bursting with goods from the county’s top food producers, ensuring an authentic Mayo gift this Christmas.
Forget the Budget. There will be too much talk about it over the coming weeks. Let the Government keep working at righting the wrongs of the past. Without doubt it will be another hard budget with more cuts and hardships coming down the line.
But if at all possible leave those worries until after the fun and frolics of Christmas. Worrying won’t change anything at the top table anyway.
But what you can control is where you spend your Christmas budget, and by keeping it local you will protect local jobs and industries.
Research published this week has shown that Irish people will be the second highest spenders this Christmas so there is money in circulation, the idea is not to let it circulate too far from Mayo.
And while you’re at it why not drop into a carol service or two and enjoy the sounds of Christmas as well as the material side of the holiday.
Hearing your favourite Christmas hymns and carols will lift your spirits and those of your children and ensure you all remember the real meaning behind this annual holiday.
As far as possible we should support our friends and neighbours in business, show pride in our home towns and Buy Mayo this Christmas.
Let’s keep Buy Mayo as our motto in the run up to Christmas. Now, more than ever, that message has an urgency about it as businesses rely on local custom to stay open into 2013.
As The Mayo Advertiser embraces our seventh year in business we will remain to the fore in promoting the Buy Mayo concept and we urge you, our readers, to support this campaign.