Champion Green in the Community
Champion Green’s national movement to drive the renewal of local communities and reinvigorate economic recovery has attracted huge support from the Irish public following its launch two weeks ago. Although strong backing was anticipated – with results from a recent survey by Kilkenny Design Group revealing that 84% of people in Ireland prefer to buy from local suppliers – the response has surpassed expectations.
A green butterfly symbolises the campaign, with a rallying call to ‘All Rise’ to the challenge our country now faces. As communities across Ireland unite in support of the movement, the ‘butterfly effect’ campaign creators promoted has been set in motion.
The Castleknock Business Community
Led by newly appointed Senator, Emer Currie, the Castleknock Business Group has come together to drive local awareness of Champion Green’s support local message.
The Business Group is promoting one of the campaign’s most compelling pieces of data, delivered by Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), Sven Spollen-Behrens. He forecast that if each adult in the country spent just €20 extra a week in small businesses for 12 weeks, it would inject €875 million into the local economy. His message has also been widely circulated in the national press and on social media.
Speaking to Champion Green, Senator Currie said: “It’s easy to forget the power we have as consumers and the difference we can make by spending €20 in the local economy.”
She thinks the campaign has come at the right time for the country. “COVID-19 has brought people together and now it makes sense for local business communities to come together too. When I heard about Champion Green, I saw the potential of a Castleknock ‘Support Local’ drive backed up by a national campaign.”
Rosie Duffy, Owner of Castleknock salon ‘So Bella,’ says her business has always relied on local people saying local. Together with the Castleknock Business Community, she is committed to supporting the recovery of her local community and says her business is making a huge effort to support their neighbours. Referring to a few of the town’s popular businesses, she said: “Shamon dress us, Rods and Cones help us see better. We like to unwind and relax with our families in Castello Bruno, Okra Green and Wongs, while John in Educo Gym helps us to stay healthy.”
Like many business owners in the area, So Bella supports all the local sports clubs and primary and secondary schools. Throughout their business closure, Rosie and her colleague Celine volunteered with local community services to look after the vulnerable, delivering meals and checking-in on those in need of support. Although the closure of her business was stressful, Rosie said “We both gained a lot from the community unity.”
John O’Doherty, owner of Castleknock gym, Educo Gym, appreciates the bond in the local community and wants to secure it for future generations. He says that every time a local person supports a small business in their community, they’re not just supporting the community for themselves, they’re supporting it for generations to come. “It’s like tending a tree in their area, which will continue to blossom well into the future,” he said, adding that “If COVID taught us anything it is that the future is unknown, our health is crucial and we really do depend on one another.”
Monica McGinn, owner of Shamon Boutique on Castleknock’s Main Street, feels that we miss out on important connection when we don’t avail of the support our local shops offer. “At least if you come into a shop, you can try it on, you’ll know if it suits you; you’ll see other people around you smiling at you, saying ‘that’s lovely.’ It’s an experience.”
Monica was one of the earliest supporters of the Champion Green campaign, and attended the launch of on Camden Row, where a mural of the Champion Green butterfly was unveiled to the public. Together with her partners in Castleknock Business Community, she is dedicated to supporting local businesses and helping her customers make decisions to buy from local designers.
Champion Green aims to encourage people to act on their good intentions by changing their shopping habits to support local. The campaign is Supported by Kilkenny Design and Visa, in association with Retail Excellence, Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland.