Newry City ‘Buy Local’ campaign officially launched

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Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Business, Featured Story, News
Newry City Centre Management in partnership with Newry & Mourne District Council and local Chambers from Newry, Crossmaglen, Warrenpoint and Kilkeel have launched the new ‘Buy Local’ campaign for Newry & Mourne.

The ‘Buy Local’ campaign has been launched

The project is designed to encourage local people to spend their money within the community. The focus of the campaign is to inform local people about the economic and cultural benefits of buying local, supporting local jobs and making the Newry & Mourne area your destination. Naturally, the local business community is rallying around the campaign. Gerald Malone of Newry ice cream business Malone’s Ice Cream said the new campaign was vital in helping the struggling local business community. “It’s no secret that the local economy has struggled in recent years and to a certain extent is still struggling,” Gerald stated. “If everyone in the local community decided to shop local it would transform the local business community and would provide a real shot in the arm.

Gerald Malone of Malone’s Ice Cream welcomed the new ‘Buy Local’ campaign

“My ice cream business has been in existence for 35 years now and if it is to survive for another 35 years it will of course have to maintain a level of local support from the community here in Newry.” Graeme Finegan of Grounded Espresso Bars in Newry agreed with Gerald. “It’s great to see a new and concerted effort emerging in Newry City, and this is what it will take for locally owned businesses to compete against international retailers. “Shopping locally is about improving your community, its vibrancy, its appeal and its individuality, and you don’t get that with a 30000 square foot corrugated steel structure. Graeme continued, “It’s about making jobs, it’s about keeping your wage packet in your pocket in Newry.

Grounded owner Graeme Finegan said the campaign will help local businesses compete against international retailers

“It might be in your butchers or your baker’s pockets, but it is still in Newry, not divided up among shareholders in far off places. “People should shop locally because it’s better for the local economy than shopping online or in international stores. “The busier the existing stores are, the more vibrant an area. The more vibrant an area, the more likely new businesses are to flourish, which equals more jobs, more rates income for local council, which will mean better facilities for our children, our elderly, everyone. Graeme added, “We are all living on a budget these days and it’s easy to say shop local and a wee bit harder to actually do it when faced with price tags at till points. “But these low price points are only short term savings, in the long term shopping locally will reap more benefits than the 2p saving on a product in a supermarket.” Sinn Féin Councillor Pat McGinn – whose motion to the Council in early December prompted the campaign – spoke to Newry Times and said the campaign should be the start of a longer term focus for the Council and its commitment to local businesses and communities.

Local Councillor Pat McGinn has been at the forefront of the new campaign

McGinn explained, “It also sends out in very clear terms the message, which is to; “First Stop, Shop Local”. We have to prioritise encouraging economic sustainability and prosperity as one of our key objectives. “Encouraging economic prosperity is one of the council’s top aims and getting local people to shop local is a step in that direction. “These are tough economic times and we need to do all we can to help our traders and businesses. “They are a part of the local community, and in our major town centres throughout Newry and Mourne, they are the local community. They generate wealth, employment and opportunity and are the glue which binds communities together.” McGinn added, “Shopping local retains communities; creates local employment and self employment. I hope to see a coming together of all appropriate partners who will move this campaign on in innovative and practical ways.” Newry & Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin agreed with McGinn’s sentiments. “The buy local message is something that needs to shape consumers shopping habits as by supporting the producers of local food we then ensure the sustainability of our agri-food sector for the future. “The horse meat scandal has proven without doubt that consumers have a high regard for our local produce and this is down to the strict traceability rules that ensure the food can be traced from the farm gate to the dinner plate.” A public meeting will take place on Thursday 28th March 2013 at 6:00pm in the Auditorium of Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, where an open invitation is extended to everyone. Whether you want to get involved, no matter how small, or just want to find out more go along to the meeting. Everyone is welcome. If you require any further information please contact: Mrs Donna McConnell, Office Manager; Newry City Centre Management on T: 028 3025 0303 / E:
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