Minister Damien English, Minister for Business, Employment and Retail promoting the Green champion message. Photo: Julien Behal Photography

Be a green champion

Shoppers are being asked to turn their back on black and make it a green Friday.

That’s the call from a support local campaign launched this week by Champion Green ahead of Black Friday tomorrow.

The campaign is encouraging consumers to think about sustainable communities and jobs, and to shop online and instore with local businesses.

Love local is the message, Sven Spollen-Behrens, Small Firms Association Director, said in calling on people to choose more consciously during the busiest shopping season of the year.

He said: “It’s use it, or lose it, in very simple terms. Jobs and prosperity in communities depends on a healthy national economy. If we do not support local, we lose local shops, businesses and services, as well as the direct and indirect employment those businesses help sustain.”

A recent Champion Green survey showed that three in four adults agreed it is a good idea to help support their local businesses and community. 68 per cent said they would actively do more to support local businesses this Christmas.

Shoppers must now turn the positive sentiment into action, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, said. “Many smaller businesses struggled through the pandemic and now have legacy debt and lost custom to deal with. If their recovery is not supported, they may not survive, and convenient local services and shopping are diminished.”

Sustainable shopping

The pandemic pushed more local businesses online, so shopping on an Irish website this Green Friday is encouraged, rather than spending with the global multi-nationals and incurring import taxes and possible supply chain delays, Champion Green organisers say.

Evelyn Moynihan, the Kilkenny Design CEO who helps run the campaign, says local shopping also helps reduce waste, emissions and air-miles.

“Sustainability is important in environmental terms, and means preserving living local communities. Local businesses are a lifeline for charities and community groups, and, by supporting the independent shops and businesses that make Ireland unique, we are preserving an important aspect of our identity and culture,” she said.

Small business represents the bulk of Irish enterprise and employs two-thirds of people in the private sector, generating 46 per cent of turnover. Local retailers and businesses are an important revenue source for local authorities, funding vital public services.