SHOPPING local this year will be more important than ever in the run up to Christmas as livelihoods hang in the balance. While all non-essential retail will remain closed due to Covid-19 restrictions businesses in Donegal will need all the support they can get online in order to weather the storm over the next six weeks.
This is what prompted Carrigart’s Ann Doherty to set up a shop local campaign on Twitter this week to encourage people to buy from local companies. The page is called ‘Donegal Your Christmas’ and the aim is to help save jobs at this difficult time.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Ann said: “It is very easy for us all to go on to Amazon or ASOS because it is convenient but if Covid has taught us anything it is to slow down and appreciate what is around us. It is something that was on my mind. I spend a lot more time on Twitter than I should so I thought I would put it to good use.”
Although there is a lot of negativity out there about social media Ann has found Twitter to be a positive space which helps her greatly in her work as a researcher.
She just recently finished a PhD and previously worked as a pharmacist before turning her attention to psychology.
“There is a real appetite this year to shop local. I know in Carrigart I was buying takeaway coffees and lunches not because I needed it but because the businesses needed it. In Donegal we are going to be most affected because of the different restrictions in the north. People are focused on the restrictions but there is a lot we can do. We saw great community spirit back in March with people coming together making PPE and sharing PPE. We need to get back to that. It seems society has fractioned over the summer. Covid-19 doesn’t care if you are annoyed at the government, it will still spread. We need to galvanise around a purpose”.
And that is just what Ann intends to do by creating the list of local businesses to support and is encouraging the public to get involved by making suggestions.
“If anyone wants to send a Twitter account suggestion to me (@annsinead) I will happily include them on the list. If people follow the list they will see what those accounts are posting and I would encourage businesses to think of Twitter as another online platform to consider using,” she said. “Photos in particular get great reactions. If people retweet the list and encourage their followers on Twitter to follow the list and retweet also, the reach will be even bigger.”
‘Donegal Your Christmas’ has only been set up a matter of days and is already gathering momentum.