THE first event in a programme designed to support retail in Bantry was very well supported.
Cork County Council hosted a well-attended breakfast business which marked the first in a series of local events organised as part of a pilot retail support programme for West Cork in 2019.
The pilot scheme, driven by Cork county mayor, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy, aims to help local businesses thrive in the face of present and future challenges.
Attendees heard from a panel of experienced and inspirational guest speakers in retail, food and tourism discussing the challenges facing the retail sector and ways to overcome them.
The programme included on-site mentoring and business development, one-to-one website advisory clinics and the opportunity to avail of a €2,500 online grant provided by the Local Enterprise Office.
Participants were also encouraged to avail of the opportunity to improve their e-commerce offering by completing the Level 5 retail digital marketing elearning course offered by Retail Ireland Skillnet.
Other supports under consideration by the County Council include free wi-fi for the town and further festival support funding to drive footfall.
The end result will be real life solutions and ideas in combating the current challenging retail conditions and increased global competition from online trading.
Launching the event Cllr Murphy explained: ‘Bantry was selected for the pilot as it is a peripheral county town with a good mix of retail, food and tourism and is facing challenges of increasing global competition and online trading. Retailers have to work harder than ever to compete but can have the edge when it comes to customer service which consumers are craving now more than ever. It is vital today to have a cross platform approach of both store and online, both of which need to be backed up with impeccable customer service, something that larger chains do not always offer. See www.localenterprise.ie/CorkNorthandWest/