December has seen a change in fortune due to the fall in the euro for exporters to the UK and US. This commenced before Christmas and with the announcements from the European Central Bank on quantitative easing this position is expected to continue in the short term. In order to maximise this opportunity the Chamber arranged for a six page supplement in the Irish News early in December and followed this up with a one page reminder later in the month.
Retailers reported that Christmas was better than expected and attributed this to:
- Northerners coming South for VALUE.
- Southerners not going North.
This change of fortune for the retail trade is good news and there can be some expectation of a good 2015. However, after the last 8 years of pain due to the recession and high euro value, there are many businesses where it is too late and some casualties can be expected in 2015.
We would encourage all in the region to SHOP LOCAL. Dundalk offers good value and it saves jobs. In that regard we will shortly be launching a “Shop Local” voucher scheme, initially to employers and our retail members.
Retail is the single largest employer in town and requires our support. We have lost too many good high street retailers already.
The Chamber is a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding with Newry and Mourne. In the interests of long term planning and stability in the region we would like to see sterling/euro exchange rate being more stable.
The low euro also helps exporters and makes Ireland a more attractive location for foreign direct investment. The arrival of Sales Sense this week highlights the areas attractiveness to the computer industry. We are now becoming a cluster area which it is hoped will encourage
Dundalk businesses to become a sub-supplier to these companies. This in turn will mean that those companies will put down long roots and will stay in the town.