Faraway hills may have always seemed greener but the urge to travel far and wide to source what may be right on our doorsteps has been turned on its head since the onset of COVID-19. That’s the view of Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downes who believes it has taken a pandemic to make all of us realise just what we have in Shannon and in Co Clare in terms of shopping and product sourcing.
Shannon Chamber’s website contains a page called ‘Made in Shannon’ which outlines the quality, scale and nature of business undertaken every day in Shannon.
“It really is amazing how Shannon impacts our lives. If we could just stop every time we need to buy something, be that food, fruit and veg, fashion, entertainment, news, books and stationery, beauty, dining, home improvement, gardening, DIY and for so many other aspects of our lives and ask, where can I source that in Shannon? That would the perfect start on our journeys to boosting the local economy,” stated Ms Downes.
“Most local businesses have been set up by entrepreneurs who depend on local trade for their survival. The multiples, likewise, employ much welcomed local employment. They both deserve our footfall and support.
“When, and only when, that product cannot be found in Shannon should we move further afield, to our county and regional towns and, ultimately to our cities, and that applies to online shopping too. Just like an onion; work in layers from local to regional to national,” urges Ms Downes.
Turning her attention to local opportunities, Ms Downes also encourages people in Shannon and in Co Clare to avail of free training available through the Chamber’s Skillnet network.
“We have a range of programmes to help those seeking employment or in receipt of PUP. It’s a wonderful opportunity to source and acquire new skills locally. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more,” she added.