The national Champion Green campaign to support local Irish businesses has launched its programme for 2021.
The movement aims to drive local recovery by encouraging people to #SupportLocal as the country looks to move on from the coronavirus.
The 2021 programme includes a new local loyalty app and a National Champion Green Week which will reward people for supporting local brands and businesses.
It is backed by a €1m package of investment aimed at helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to adapt their businesses.
Launching the campaign this week, the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that, as the coronavirus vaccine is rolled out, it has never been more important to support local Irish communities.
“This year’s St Patrick’s Day will be a lot different than previous years unfortunately, but we can still make the most of it,” he said.
“A great way to celebrate would be to support your local businesses and this Champion Green campaign is a great reminder to people to consider what is on their doorstep and shop local.
“Hope is on the horizon. There will be brighter days ahead and, in the meantime, we need to all look after each other and support our local communities.”
With recent research, commissioned by VISA, finding that 75% of people feel better about themselves when shopping locally, the campaign is about highlighting the simple ways everyone can their communities bounce back and thrive again.
Champion Green founder and Kilkenny Design CEO, Marian O’Gorman said: “Change is in the air as we look forward to the country reopening in the coming months.
“We are encouraging business owners to keep their spirits high, keep driving their business online, and grasp the green shoots of recovery.”
Ms O’Gorman said this year’s programme will include a free marketing toolkit to drive the renewal of local communities and local enterprise.
By signing up on the Champion Green website, businesses can also access supports, webinars and all the latest campaign news.
Meanwhile, a national advertising campaign will focus on the ways money spent locally supports local jobs and services.
"Backbone of our communities"
Dominic White, Acting Country Manager for Ireland at Visa said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our local communities, but so many have been hit hard by the pandemic.”
“We’re committed to supporting small businesses in Ireland and proud to be working hand in hand with Champion Green to celebrate our small businesses and the value they bring to our local communities.”
Businesses looking to get on board with Champion Green can find out everything they need to know at championgreen.ie.
Champion Green is supported by Kilkenny Design and Visa, in association with Retail Excellence, the Small Firms Association and Chambers of Commerce Ireland.