There is no doubt that 2020 has been an extremely challenging year for businesses and community groups throughout Kerry. However, in Listowel we are keeping positive. With just over a month left until Christmas the Listowel Business and Community Alliance are asking shoppers to try town first. This year we are restricted in what we can offer to kick off the Christmas Season for locals and our members, however we do have a few exciting things we have been working on.
The Christmas Tree has arrived, and the lights are being turned by none other than Santa himself at 5pm on Monday the 30th of November in The Square just in time for the reopening of businesses on the 1st of December. The event will be broadcast live on Facebook so make sure to tune in!
As always, we are grateful for the support of Kerry County Council who have helped us through different grant schemes and for December they are assisting local businesses by offering free car parking for the entire Christmas period in Listowel town. From December 4th to January 2nd, on-street parking is free, subject to a 2-hour limit. There are also more than 400 off-street free car parking spaces available in the town.

Paul O Connor, of Listowel Business and Community Retail Group “We are also running a Shop Local/Shine Bright campaign on local radio stations which will focus strongly on encouraging people to shop in Listowel this Christmas and will also highlight our Listowel Town Voucher as a gifting idea. This will help local businesses early in 2021 when the vouchers are likely to be redeemed. We will also have competitions throughout the month of December so keep an eye on our website and all our social media channels @Listowel”.

Rose Wall, Chairperson of Listowel Business and Community Alliance, has urged local people and those who are living abroad to ‘shop locally’. “Just because the front door of a business is closed does not mean that you cannot support them. I would really like to impress on the public to support businesses by contacting them either by phone, email, social media or their website and not immediately think of global online marketplaces as a first option.” With Christmas on the way, she said, there is an opportunity to “get behind local businesses and make sure that they finish out this very difficult year with local support and encouragement.” Contact and Collect is up and running for many Listowel businesses so check for an UpToDate list of businesses who are offering this service and who are continuing to trade through covid.

The Listowel Gift Voucher is another way to support local businesses and keep our money circulating in Listowel. Vouchers can be purchased directly from Pierse and Fitzgibbon’s Solicitors and they come in denominations of €10, €20 and €50 so they are ideal for everyone from the very young to the young at heart. Most businesses accept the voucher and we have the variety in Lovely Listowel. The Listowel Gift Voucher can be spent with more than 100 independent local businesses from hairdressers to local museums and theatres, the cinema to the hotel, auctioneers to web designers.

Listowel is not just about businesses we are also community driven so this year we are delighted to announce that we will have a New Year’s Eve fireworks display. Rose adds that “We feel that it is a very fitting goodbye to 2020 and a positive look ahead for 2021. The fireworks will be released on NYE and it is about encouraging families to enjoy them together from the comfort of their own homes. It’s about looking onwards and upwards!” More details will follow in local / social media. Listowel continues to be shortlisted for national awards, the latest being our town park (Childers Park and Woodlands) which was nominated for a Pride of Place award.

Rose also adds “As businesses are due to reopen, we appeal to everyone to continue to adhere to the government and public health guidelines over the coming weeks. Listowel Business and Community Alliance wants to wish everyone a safe and joyful Christmas and we look forward to welcoming everyone again in 2021. We are also running the best window competition for local retailers with this year’s theme – Shine Bright Listowel.”

This year we have partnered with Gas Networks Ireland who have kindly sponsored a new addition to our Christmas Lighting. A giant bauble light installation will be on display in the Square from the 1st week in December. Cora O Brien, Listowel Business & Community Alliance Marketing Committee states “We had worked very hard on a full lighting scheme for Listowel earlier in 2020, however due to Covid we had to postpone those plans until next year. However, we are delighted to have the support of Gas Networks Ireland to help us start our collection of light installations which we will be adding to every year”

“A lot of work goes on behind the scenes and we would like to acknowledge and thank local businesses and organisations for their support including Listowel MD Elected Members, KCC staff, Pat Sullivan, Declan O Mahony, Listowel MD Officer Andy Smith, Listowel Town Manager John Kennelly, Gas Networks Ireland, Pierse and Fitzgibbon Solicitors and the Alliance committee itself” states Rose Wall, Chairperson of Listowel Business & Community Alliance. “We now look forward to 2021 and to our local festivals – Young Adult Bookfest, Listowel Writers’ Week, Listowel Food Fair, Revival, Listowel Races, International Storytelling and also to the opening of the North Kerry Greenway which is of major importance to the town of Listowel and North Kerry. We will be working on marketing and securing further funding for this exciting addition to the tourism offering in Listowel. Follow Listowel Business & Community Alliance Social media to keep informed. Follow our #wherestoriesbegin