top of page
  • Writer's pictureDanny Joyce | Editor

Answering the Call of Ireland’s Small Businesses

As the country prepares to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day and to ‘answer Ireland’s call’ in Lansdowne Road, Champion Green is calling on the public to remember to support small businesses this holiday weekend.


Supported by Kilkenny Design and VISA, in association with Aviva, Retail Excellence, Small Firms Association and Chambers of Commerce Ireland, the #ChampionGreen movement is about the simple ways everyone can make a difference to the local economy.    

By encouraging the public to shop and to ‘click’ local, we can help businesses and communities, already badly impacted in the pandemic, to bounce back, Champion Green Founder and Kilkenny Design Chairperson, Marian O’Gorman says. 

“Everyone’s resources are stretched just now. We are living in tougher times, with a rising cost-of-living and job losses in the multi-nationals.  It brings it home, all the more, that keeping money in circulation locally, and ensuring that our own businesses thrive can help secure services, the future of jobs, and opportunity for our young people”.     

Announcing the launch of new Champion Green marketing supports and consumer advertising this month, Marian O’Gorman said the movement’s continuing priority is to drive the renewal of local communities and support local enterprise and economic recovery. 

SMEs can access a free marketing toolkit on the website,, as well as supports like a dedicated business advice podcast. There are also upcoming opportunities to win free pop-up shop premises in Dublin and in Limerick, and business supports such as listings with major retailers. 

Welcoming the new Champion Green campaign for 2023, Neale Richmond TD, Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Business at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, said that customer support for small businesses can be transformative for the sector. 

“St Patrick’s Day is the perfect opportunity for us all to show our appreciation to local businesses, which are at the centre of communities across Ireland. In providing employment and opportunities, small businesses give so much to our communities, now is an opportunity for us all to support them in return. 

The Irish Government is committed to maintaining an environment where small and local businesses can grow and thrive, both at home in Ireland and abroad through exporting. However, the real power lies in the hands of our consumers who make decisions every day with their purchasing power. Supporting a local business may seem like a small gesture, but every purchase from a small business is helping to maintain jobs and services in our communities and does not go unnoticed.” 

Retail Excellence is a Champion Green partner, and MD Duncan Graham says that SMEs make up the majority of retail and wholesale businesses in Ireland, with many currently struggling to manage rising costs. 

“The retail sector is Ireland’s largest Industry, and the largest private sector employer, even though around 85% are small firms employ less than 10 people. Retailers provide work for almost 300,000 employees, with 3 in 4 of these based outside of Dublin.   

“The sector also generates the largest contribution to the Irish exchequer of around €7bn annually, so it makes sense to shop local and support local service provision”, Graham maintains. 

Champion Green consumer economics advisor, Eoin McGee believes that every €1 spent in local retail can generate up to €2.50 in the economy.  However, €1 spent online, with an overseas retailer, is largely lost to the local economy, the financial advisor says. 

Answering Ireland’s SMEs Call 

Launched in 2020, businesses and service providers across Ireland have rallied to support the renewal of small firms as Champion Green partners.   

As well as launching a dedicated Where You Shop Matters campaign, VISA, Champion Green’s headline partner, encourages women in business in SMEs with an annual She’s Next competition, helping female entrepreneurs to fund, run and grow their small business. 

An Post created a Champion Green postmark and display material for Post Offices, encouraging people to shop locally, while also providing parcel delivery supports to local businesses newly adapting to ecommerce. 

Irish forecourt retailer Maxol recently launched its Homegrown at Maxol initiative with Champion Green, where SMEs in the food and drinks sector can win prime shelf space in Maxol stores, marketing support, and mentorship. 

Aviva Life and Pensions Ireland DAC rolled out an innovative scheme whereby vacant shop units from its property portfolio are awarded to small businesses free of charge as pop-up shops.  Recipients have included Irish design brand, Jill & Gill, Ambr Eyewear blue-light glasses, and sustainable goods store, The Kind.  Plans are underway for another Champion Green ‘Readymade Retail’ opportunity in Clarendon Street in Dublin this summer. 

AIB Merchant Services already provides dedicated supports for SMEs, as ecommerce and onmi-channel selling plays a bigger part in the business of locally-owned enterprise.  As a Champion Green partner, AIB Merchant Services works with small firms to facilitate fast, reliable and secure payment solutions and protection against fraud.   


Champion Green is supported by Kilkenny Design and Visa, in association with Aviva, Retail Excellence, the Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland.  The campaign highlights the simple ways everyone can make a difference to local economic wellbeing by spending locally.   

For more information visit

Slán go fóill


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page