‘Buy local’ for your school supplies this summer!

With exam season in full swing and schools out for summer, Mallow Chamber has taken the opportunity to revise some basic maths and economics ahead of the 2012/2013 school year. With over 2,000 students attending schools in Mallow town alone, the Chamber estimates that the local economy could benefit massively by simply ensuring that primary and secondary schools encourage parents and students to purchase all school materials from copybooks to uniforms and stationary to gym gear in shops in Mallow town.

“The matter came to light at one of our regular Chamber meetings,” says Mallow Chamber President Mary Kelly. “We heard that parents and pupils were heading to Cork city to purchase anything from uniforms to art supplies because they were not available in Mallow. Looking ahead to the 2012/13 school year, we thought the timing was ideal to contact the local schools and also encourage local businesses to stock the materials necessary.”

The Chamber asked principals of the local primary and secondary schools to support the campaign by supplying their school book and equipment list to the Chamber offices, where they will then be forwarded to Chamber members to ensure they can be stocked in advance of the new school year. The principals were extremely enthusiastic about the concept.

The Principal of the Patrician Academy, Catherine Fitzpatrick, says they are always trying to encourage students to shop locally. “We are very conscious in the Patrician Academy that we support local businesses and the local economy. There is a large range of businesses which cater for the school, and where possible we avail of it. We’re very supportive of the Chamber’s campaign.”

“I know first-hand how expensive it is to put a child through primary and secondary school education, and hearing about students leaving Mallow to purchase uniforms and other materials in shops in Cork city goes against our ethos of keeping business in town wherever possible,” says Mary Kelly. “We see it as an ideal opportunity for stores to attract parents and students into their premises and for our members to build new customer relationships.”

“By staying local, parents who may already be financially stretched save on the fuel and time it takes to travel to Cork. Additionally, they can be safe in the knowledge that by keeping their business in town, they are helping to keep their town in business”, says Mary Kelly. “We’re also building up to our annual Mallow Business Awards night in December and this presents the ideal opportunity for voters to experience the customer service in Mallow’s shops.”