A desolate Cruises Street which has seen all its shops closed due to the coronavirus pandemic
LIMERICK City and County Council is to launch a business programme aimed at supporting retail in the area through the Covid-19 shutdown and its aftermath.
The authority has teamed up with the Local Enterprise Office and the Limerick Chamber to offer a range of initiatives including an online listing of businesses currentluy open for trading, and help for those which do not have e-commerce retail capabilities.
It comes with companies facing unprecedented tough times with all but the most essential shops shuttered due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Retailers are now being asked to declare their interest in the free shop Limerick platform on Limerick.ie, which will be launched shortly and supported by a marketing campaign.
The move is in response to the crisis that many retailers now face after a first quarter that has already been decimated by Covid-19 restrictions and with the impact likely to continue well into the summer.
Training will be given on how to create short marketing videos, as well as social media boot camps and webinars for local businesses about cash flow management and how to get their business through Covid-19.
Companies interested in taking up the offer are asked to register their interest online at www.Limerick.ie/Business, email email@example.com or telephone 061 556000.
Chamber chief executive Dee Ryan said: “Limerick retailers give our city, towns and villages their distinct personality, it’s crucial that we do everything we can to protect that.”
“The chamber is committed, in collaboration with the council and Local Enterprise Office to make it easy for Limerick shoppers to keep the benefit of their spend local now when we need to more than ever. No one who wants to be involved will be left behind, we have loads of support to offer businesses so please sign up.”
Ann O’Donnell retailer, O’Donnell boutique in Catherine Street, added: “This initiative is a good example of our local leaders standing by local businesses in an unprecedented time. No one could have foreseen what has happened and to have the shutters pulled down, both practically and metaphorically, recently has been a huge financial shock but also very traumatic for local retailers. They are small businesses, have employees they care for, customers they care for and who have great loyalty to them and, in most instances, have families themselves.”
“Some of these businesses have e-commerce capabilities that bridge the gap somewhat but many independent traders don’t. This offer to create an online Shop Limerick platform that they can all trade on is fantastic and I would urge every business who needs this to jump at the chance. Not alone could it help them get through this very difficult time but it could have a very positive and lasting legacy.”
Significant interest has also been shown by the private sector in providing support for this initiative to assist small retailers and the Council and its partners will acknowledge this support as the campaign is rolled out.
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