EVERY year at this time, the appeal goes out for people to do their Christmas shopping locally, but given the type of year that 2020 has turned out to be so far, it is even more important to shop locally in order to give businesses and the jobs they both provide and support a fighting chance of survival.
Retailers do not need to be reminded of how fraught a year it has been with ‘non-essential’ outlets forced to close for a number of months in both the spring and early winter. If it is deemed appropriate to lift Level 5 restrictions from Tuesday next, December 1st, then all retail businesses will have a sporting chance of recouping some of their losses in the run-up to Christmas, a period that provides most of them with quite a significant chunk of their annual turnover.
As well as shopping locally, customers should also look, as far as possible, to buy locally-produced food and other products. West Cork has a deserved reputation for producing top-quality food – something people came to appreciate a bit more during the lockdowns we have had – so there is no excuse for not supporting these producers and the people they employ, both directly and indirectly. Family-run businesses are the backbones of many town centres and are particularly worthy of support.
Shoppers should not lose the run of themselves when restrictions are eased and continue to wash hands, wear masks and maintain social distancing. Those who may be dubious about joining the Christmas rush can still support local shops and businesses by shopping with them online or using the ‘click and collect’ services many shops offer.