A PLEA by the mayor of the city, calling on residents to support local businesses and in particular, small grocery shops, has been made in an effort to stop the haemorrhage of business and jobs. Cllr Sean O’hArgain wants people to give an extra bit of custom to their neighbourhood store before they are all closed down. “By switching one or two items a week from the huge multiples to your family run corner shop, you could me making the difference between their survival and closure ,” he said grimly.
“We are in the grip of an epidemic which is spreading and we need to show now that we are still a community based city where loyalty, good friends, neighbours and the people we have done business with for years are important to us,” he said.
“Too many shops have closed sown in the city in recent times and we need to make a stand. It’s time that people saw the bigger picture and understood how important it is to spend locally to ensure that small businesses continues to employ local people. “They are the backbone of ths country, giving much needed employment on a full-time and part-time basis and if they go, this country will be the poorer for it,” he said.
“It’s not too late to change things and to make a difference and not only are you protecting jobs but you are supporting local suppliers as well,” he said.
His call to arms was made following the latest small shop closure in the city at James’s green where Ellen Murphy had provided the area with a great service for the last seven and a half years, However, the recession, tighter margins and a trend towards bulk buying all contributed to the closure of her grocery-deli business a few weeks ago.
She has called for a review of margins by the multi-nationals like Vodaphone and O2 paid to shopkeepers. She explained that margins are just so small. “If a customer came in and bought 20 cigarettes, 10 euro phone top-up and a 4 euro Lotto quick pick it cost E23.10 and i received just 80 cents out of that. You cannot survive on that,” she said. Read her full story on Page 3.