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Online Sales Workshop for Local Businesses
By Frances Toner
14, May 2014 - 08:51

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Time for local businesses to get their slice of the big online pie

In response to the huge growth in online shopping, Castlebar Chamber has organised an event for Thursday, May 15, at 6.30 pm, in association with Mayo Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and Horkan's Garden Centre, Turlough, to help local businesses get a slice of the massive online retail sector.

Expert speakers will be at the event to talk about how businesses can start, or improve on, their sales online and some of the supports and grants available to businesses in this area. Latest research indicates that, every day, a massive €8.5 million in online shopping goes to companies outside of Ireland, according to Eurostat.

Castlebar Chamber president Sylvester Jennings said it is clear now, that in order to survive and thrive, local businesses are going to have to get online and start selling their products there. "To see such a huge sum of money leave the local economy is disheartening," said Mr Jennings. "However, the internet isn't going anywhere and it is a fact that shopping habits are changing. Local businesses are going to have to turn it around and find ways to get their share of that retail spend and keep it in the town and county." He said the expert speakers at this free event will provide a great opportunity for businesses to hear from a range of professionals on the art of selling online.

"Local businessman, John Horkan, who has really capitalised on the advent of the internet and is a great case study of how a business can grasp the opportunities the internet presents, will share his experience on the evening," continued Mr Jennings.

"We will also have Alastair McDermott, the 'website doctor', who is a leading consultant in this area. Sophia McHugh, who recently launched a new website which provides an easy and convenient platform for traditional 'high street' shops to get their wares online and sell to this huge market, will also be speaking.

"Representatives from the newly launched Mayo Local Enterprise Office (LEO), who support local micro, small and medium businesses and sole traders, will be there on the evening to offer advice on the supports and grants businesses may be eligible for, in terms on their digital presence."

The event, The Online Retail Opportunity, takes place in Horkans Garden Centre, Turlough, at 6.30 pm, on Thursday, May 15.

The event is free and open to Chamber members and non-members alike and all businesses, traders, entrepreneurs or anyone who has an interest in this area.

For more information, contact Castlebar Chamber on (094) 90 24845 or (086) 3002996.


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