Ten Tipperary towns have been approved a package of supports under the interim Retail Support Programme.
Beneficiaries under the €25,000 fund include; Cahir Tidy Towns, Carrick on Suir Business Association, Clonmel Chamber, Fethard Business & Tourism Ltd., Holycross Forum, Nenagh Chamber of Commerce, Roscrea Chamber, Thurles Chamber, Tipperary Integrated Resource Development and Killenaule Town Enhancement.
The scheme administered by Tipperary County Council’s Local Enterprise Office targeted Chambers, Business Associations and Community Groups and offered a series of measures to help regain the commercial viability of retail businesses and to safeguard both new and existing jobs in the County’s retail sector. Under the scheme, towns and villages were offered a grant of €1,000 towards eligible marketing and PR activities, an “outside broadcast” with local radio stations Tipp FM or Tipp Mid West in addition to the services of a Mentor- Red PR to assist with the formulation of a marketing/PR plan for the participating town or village. In addition, through Chambers and Traders Associations across Tipperary, The Local Enterprise Office is offering the sector, training, mentoring, management development, upskilling in social media,e-commerce solutions and On Line Trading Vouchers, GIBO (Getting Irish Business On Line) and other supports for businesses who lack a web presence, text or other scheme to attract new, retain existing customers and encourage increased spend in Tipperary’s towns and villages
The Retail Support Programme is the first phase in the roll out of a series of supports by Tipperary County Council and Tipperary Local Enterprise Office under the “Town Centre Initiative”. A Study of the retail sector in 2012 identified common actions that could be pursued and are relevant to all key towns and villages reviewed. Actions included the establishment of a town centre forum, revitalisation of vacant and derelict properties/shop units, use of social media/web sites/town shopping apps, promoting the concept of “Shop Local”, provision of tailored training courses to meet the needs of retailers such as customer relationship management, brand identity, PR, festivals and events, enhancing links with tourism, developing farmers markets and new collective marketing initiatives designed to increase foot fall and spend in the County. This interim Programme will be evaluated and beneficiaries are obliged to submit a post- event report detailing the impact of the Initiative in the Town/ Village such as foot-fall, spend, satisfaction rating, employment created/maintained (direct and indirect), collaboration/ joint initiatives with Municipal Districts, new initiatives/ events introduced and community participation.