Nenagh MDC retailers received €7,000 under council's Christmas initiative
Retailers in a number of towns and villages in the Nenagh Municipal District area received €7,000 in grants from the council under its Retail Support Programme.
The highest grant, €2,000 went to Nenagh & District Chamber of Commerce towards its Christmas season prorgamme.
Newport, Borrisokane, Ballina and Cloughjordan each received €1,000, while Terryglass and Dromineer gor €500 each.
The initiative was welcomed by Cllr Ger Darcy, who said the grants had been a huge help towards creating a buzz around the area.
However, Cllr Hughie McGrath warned that online purchases were a huge stumbling block to retailers.
He has called on Nenagh Chamber to develop a presenation pack that can be distributed to local schools to highlight how online shopping impacts on local jobs.
“We need to bring a human element into online shopping and show that by buying local you are helping to keep a friend's parent in a job,” he said.
The Nenagh councillor further proposed that the Chamber get the staff from all the shops in Nenagh to step out on to the street at a specific time so people can see how many are employed locally in retail.
“It is only by showing the connection between shopping online and the human element that we can take on the big corporations,” he said.
Cllr McGrath was supported by Cllr Joe Hannigan, who said local retailers faced a “serious challenge” from online shopping.
He pointed out that in December in his village of Kilbarron, a local delivery man had 88 packages to distribute from online purchases.
However, he urged local retailers to have an online presence.
“They need to buy into it if they are to keep money in the local economy,” he said.