- 85% feel more businesses trading online than ever before
- 83% planning to support more local businesses in 2021
- Surge in support for local businesses following campaigns.
Research carried out on behalf of the Local Enterprise Offices as part of their “Look for Local” campaign has shown that 82% of Irish consumers were now more likely to buy local, either online or in-store, this year, compared to 2019, as a result of recent campaigns to highlight local businesses.
Of those surveyed 8 out of 10 said that they were aware of campaigns, including that of the Local Enterprise Offices, encouraging individuals and businesses to look locally when buying goods or services. 84% of respondents said they were more likely to shop locally online this year. In addition, 80% said they would look to support local in-store.
85% of those surveyed felt there were more local businesses trading online than in 2019, while 83% plan to support more local businesses in 2021. The Local Enterprise Offices have approved over 11,000 Trading Online Vouchers this year, an increase of over 800% from 2019. The Voucher enables small businesses to get established online or improve an existing online presence.
The “Look for Local” campaign is being pushed out by each of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide and the Look for Local hub on LocalEnterprise.ie/LookforLocal now has over 4,200 businesses listed from a range of sectors that enables consumers and businesses to search for goods and services within their area.
The research was released today, December 14th, to coincide with “Look for Local Day” where the Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland and the Local authorities are putting an increased online focus on local businesses. This includes online promotions, offers and giveaways as part of the Look for Local campaign.
The research by Amarach Research, sampled over 1,900 Irish consumers, and highlights the surge across Ireland for consumers and businesses to support those in their own area.
The Local Enterprise Office’s Look for Local campaign is being run with Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities. It is backed by the Government of Ireland.
Minister for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, said; “It has been a year like no other for many small local businesses who employ over one million people in Ireland. The Look for Local campaign has provided a significant boost to many companies across the country and builds on the upsurge of support by consumers for local businesses when looking to buy goods or services.
It’s great to see that people across the country are supporting local businesses at the heart of our communities by shopping locally and safely in store, by phone or online; for home delivery or collection.
Small businesses have risen to the challenge of trading during Covid. Many changed their business models, created new products and gone above and beyond to maintain links with their customers. This is a testament to their resilience and now their local customers are backing them.
Oisin Geoghegan, chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, said; “This research has borne out the huge groundswell of support of local businesses we have seen this year and particularly now coming up to Christmas. With so many campaigns ongoing to try and support local businesses, the impact has been significant and the response from businesses has been outstanding. Many have had to completely change the way they do business this year and it’s great to see people across communities supporting them.
We have helped over 11,000 businesses this year with Trading Online Vouchers and they can now trade 24 hours a day as opposed to just 9-6pm. Those who Look for Local can be assured that if they are buying locally they will get a premium product that can be delivered at short notice and with that they are supporting their local economy. Hopefully this continues long into 2021 and beyond”
Ross O’Colmáin, Department Manager, Construction, Timber, Cleantech Consumer, Enterprise Ireland, said; “The Look for Local campaign survey results show the impact a collaborative, cross-agency and local business group approach can have in supporting small businesses. It has been a challenging year for small and medium enterprises around the country, and many have adapted their businesses and strengthened their online presences, to facilitate exiting and new customers, both locally and internationally, which will put them in a stronger position for 2021 and beyond”.
AnnMarie Farrelly, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council and Chair of the Business, Enterprise, Innovation and Urban/Town Economic Renewal Committee of the CCMA, said; “Local authorities are delighted to throw our support behind ‘Look for Local’ Day. As Christmas draws closer and we enter one of the busiest shopping periods in the year, it’s important we encourage everyone in our counties to back small businesses and retailers in their communities. Local authorities are doing everything they can to support businesses, and we know from research from the Local Enterprise Office Network that there is a strong desire among the public to shop locally this year. We would urge consumers across the country to Look for Local when they shop, and invest in local jobs and enterprise in the weeks and months ahead.”
The campaign will run for several weeks on traditional and online media and profiling of businesses will continue until the end of the year to help spotlight local businesses across the country and encourage people to Look for Local. For more information on the campaign go to www.LocalEnterprise.ie/LookforLocal and agencies, businesses and consumers will also be encouraged to use #LookforLocal on social media to help support the campaign.