Paul Briody at Briodys Homevalue & Builders Providers & DIY, Kilnaleck.PHOTOS: IAN MCCABE

‘Shop Local’ message getting through

Despite all the challenges posed by COVID-19, it seems as though business has been booming in Kilnaleck and it’s all down to the support of local people. If Coronavirus has taught us anything, it is the importance of supporting local and community.

For Connie Briody of Homevalue Ltd in Kilnaleck, business has never been better.

“We’ve been very busy, Covid hasn’t really impacted our sector because people are at home and doing work around the house,” Paul Briody told theCelt.

The first lockdown in June saw a surge in DIY projects, especially during the good weather. This has had a positive spin off on the Kilnaleck hardware store.

Throughout the second lockdown, Paul points out that construction was largely unaffected, which meant a steady flow of business throughout the year.

“It’s harder because obviously you are trying to keep people apart in the shop,” Paul explains. “We’re wearing masks and sanitizing our hands; you have to be very careful.”

Paul praises the people in the locality who support the business all year round. “It’s great the support we get from Kilnaleck and surrounding areas.” Local businesses also play their part in supporting the store. “It’s great to have that support on our doorstep.”

Use it or lose it! - Celia

Celia O’Reilly from Kilnaleck explains how business has been for her shop this year.

“The first lockdown in March, business was brilliant,” Celia explains.

However, she noted that, as the country started to reopen, people began to move and shop elsewhere.

“We had a very good couple of first months, that's the way it is.”

During the second lockdown, Celia says that the shop’s regulars continued to give their support to the local business.

“It so pointless when small businesses close and people say, ‘it’s so sad to see that business closed,’ you think well why didn’t you support them?” remarks Celia.

With screens, sanitizing and markers on the floor, the newsagents is very much open for business. As well as doing the National Lottery and providing a postage collection and drop-off service, the shop is also now accepting 'One 4 All' vouchers.

Newly elected councillor Trevor Smith (FG) has a lot of praise for how Kilnaleck people and businesses dealt with the Covid-19 crisis.

“With the winning of the football, that was a major morale boost to the community.

“The football clubs have been very active during the year, delivering food to people, which was very well appreciated,” he remarked.

“It’s not just the townspeople but the people in the community outside the town who are important to keep the town alive,” he added.

Cllr Smith said that businesses have had additional costs this year due to Covid and urges people in the area to shop local this Christmas.