A surge in online support for small Irish businesses has been seen amid recent Covid-19 restrictions, with over 325,000 comments and posts using hashtags such as #BuyIrish, #ShopLocal and #SupportSmallBusiness posted on Facebook and Instagram over the last three months.
On Instagram in Ireland, the fastest growing hashtag in the past month has been #MadeLocal, while more than 30,000 Instagram Stories featuring a “Support Small Business” sticker have also been posted in the last three months.
On Facebook, over a quarter of a million people in Ireland have joined groups supporting local business in the last three months.
The support comes as many small businesses have been forced to shut their doors or limited to online trading due to current restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19.
A lot of owners have experienced a level of trade they could only have dreamed of in their bricks and mortar shop
“I created the Shop in Ireland group in October to gather Irish shoppers and business owners together in one space,” Teresa Venables, community leader of one Facebook Group said.
With over 167,000 members, Ms Venables describes the group as “a wonderful community of Irish SMEs from local crafters and small retailers to photographers, jewellers and more, all of whom have been affected by Covid-19.”
“I felt there was a need for a quick and easy way for small businesses to reach their customers without the months of building a website and all that it entails,” she said.
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“With over 100,000 shoppers browsing the page every day, a lot of owners have experienced a level of trade they could only have dreamed of in their bricks and mortar shop or craft stalls.”
David Harris, director of global business group at Facebook said it was “fantastic to see the country coming together to support Irish businesses this Christmas.”
“As consumer behaviour shifted online in a big way this year, we introduced a range of new features to help people discover and share their support for local businesses,” he added.
People looking to support Irish businesses can search hashtags such as #BuyIrish, #ShopLocal and #MadeLocal to discover local businesses when shopping for Christmas gifts this year.