Allan Shine, CEO of the Chamber says, “2018 has been a tough year for retail with retailers closing their doors back in February/March during the snow storms and the extreme drought conditions we experienced in the summer hampered summer sales.

Online shopping spends continues to increase month on month and retailers continue to fight back and to diversify their product offering as much as they can.  When you support your local businesses you are helping to create and sustain local jobs. Greater support for local businesses also means more product choice and competition, and the presence of more shops invigorates our communities throughout Kildare”.

The Chamber is calling for people to support their local businesses; the message is that these businesses are the heartbeat of our communities and we must do more to support them. 

The recent budget from Government has done little to lift the spirit of retailers with increases in minimum wage and increased PRSI contributions.  The VAT rate increasing to 13.5% in January 2019 will further hurt the hospitality and tourism sector.

Shine concluded by saying, “Whilst business sentiment is on the increase, consumer sentiment is not.  We are seeing that people are more hesitant in making impulse purchases.  Consumers are faced with continued increased costs in insurance, utility bills and childcare provision, we remain cautious as to what the Christmas retail season will be like for retailers.  Our simple message is – Buy local, support local.