Monday, September 14, 2020

A local councillor in the Ballinrobe area has said that online shopping is costing the Mayo economy about €54 million per year. Cllr Michael Burke raised the issue at today’s meeting of Mayo County Council at the TF.

Cllr Burke said that while it has been a difficult year for retailers, he fears that they will “hit a cliff next April or May,” when government subsidies to help businesses deal with the impact of Covid-19 are reduced or disappear completely.

“About 12 years ago, Ireland was spending about €1 billion on online shopping. That figure is now €2.2 billion, or about €450 for every man, woman and child in this country.”

“If you equate that to a town like Ballinrobe, then we are losing €1.5 million per annum in retail sales. That is €30,000 a week, gone online.”

Peter Duggan, Chief Executive with Mayo County Council, said he agreed with Cllr Burke’s comments with regards to the impact of online shopping.

“What we need to look at for businesses here is that if there is €54 million worth of business online, how much of that can our local shops account for. It’s something we need to look at nationally, as well as locally, to get our businesses online.”

“It is a fact of life, no more than rural electrification was 50 years ago. Things are changing and we have to move with it if businesses are to survive.”

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