Sunday, 16 November 2008


Investing for the future: A marketplace of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.

Your community is unique, and local traders understand this.

“I go to many different shops around Buncrana for my shopping, that means I get the best prices around and it also has a great social aspect too as I see a lot of people I know.” IG Buncrana

A wide variety of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices


No one can tell you where to shop. You will use your head when it comes to getting the best value and best products for your family. Sometimes though the answers go a little deeper that saving 10 cent on the price of a tin of beans or getting an item for the house from miles away because they appear to have a better sale price. Often by the time transportation costs, customer support and time are taken into account we can find ourselves out of pocket.

Face value prices are just the tip of the consumer iceberg. Delve deeper and you see that shopping locally and supporting your local suppliers helps the local economy to grow. It’s not just the retail shoppers at the end of the supply chain that benefits; it is the whole community.

Significantly more money re-circulates in an area like Inishowen when purchases are made locally which helps the sustainability of the community. Money keeps flowing through the community especially if these businesses buy from other local businesses and service providers; such as accountants, solicitors, printers, insurance agents and fuel companies. This has great benefits for the local economy, which is needed in these difficult financial times.


Environmental Sustainability

Local shops help to sustain vibrant, compact town centres, which in turn are essential to reducing urban sprawl, car use, and air and water pollution.

Small businesses provide jobs for local people, who then do not have to drive so far to get to work.

Going a shorter distance to get what you need saves your precious free time.

Small businesses generally have a much smaller environmental footprint than big shops.

Shopping locally saves precious fuel.

The quality of items sold locally tends to be better, since the shop owners realise you might be back to complain! That means less cheap junk ends up in a landfill or incinerator.

Local business may stock locally made or grown items, like honey or vegetables.


For every euro spent at a locally owned business, 48 cent stays in the local economy. This makes a huge difference to the wealth of an area like Inishowen. A market place of small businesses like the ones found around the peninsula is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices. This will help make the area economically healthy for a long time into the future.

Product Diversity

A town full of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices. This competition and diversity leads to more choices for the customer. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of Inishowens distinct character: This unique character is what brings people here and can keep us here. A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

Locally owned businesses means more jobs in the area which is good for the community. Customers can get more friendly service whith staff that understand their needs.

Community Well-Being
Locally owned businesses build strong ties by sustaining communities, linking neighbours, and by contributing more to local causes. Our euro spent in locally-owned businesses have three times the impact for the community, then a euro spent else where. When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more local services through sales tax, invest in local improvement schemes and promote community development. You help to keep the euro in the local economy

Local Decision Making
Local ownership means that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions. Local traders care about your community. They will donate to your school sports team and work with activists on community improvement campaigns. Not because they want to make themselves look good, but because the owners of these shops live and work next to you. Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services. Local businesses pay council taxes, funding town services.

Local interest
Local businesses care about the community. They are closely connected to it, and thus consider their impact on it. They are more willing to invest in its future. Many owners generously donate time, money and products to efforts that benefit their neighbours. Non-profit organizations receive an average 350% greater support from local business owners. Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community, and are less likely to leave and are more invested in the community’s future.

Element of surprise
The element of surprise and discovery in a small local shop whose inventory is carefully chosen by the owner means you can find all sorts of unexpected treasures. And with food shops, you may find a wider assortment of fresher, locally originating, and organic products. In a local shop, you can build a relationship with the staff, the owners and employees get to know you as people, and the smart ones know how to make you feel special. To be greeted by name and be told that something has just come in that your spouse will just love means a lot.


“To support local businesses, I'll sometimes pay a little more than I would in a large store in the city. But once everything is taken into consideration, travel, time, environmental impact and customer support, I think I would be better off staying within a couple of miles of my house.” – MD Buncrana

“I go to many different shops around Buncrana for my shopping, that means I get the best prices around and it also has a great social aspect too as I see a lot of people I know.” IG Buncrana


Mac’s Bookstore
Eunan McLaughlin from Mac’s bookshop stocks as much as he can from local suppliers. A majority of the cards and calendars in the shop are from Irish companies “ We stock O’Brien cards that are made in Ireland, they are top quality. Our books come from Irish suppliers and closer to home we have hand crafted cards from a company in Malin Head.” Eunan sources other products locally too. “We deal with a local cash and carry supplier in Gleneely for our minerals and confectionary and deal directly with companies such as Kerry Springs, the drinks manufacturer,” he explains.

Kavanagh Supervalu
Kieran Doherty is manager of the Supervalu store in Buncrana. The company employs 85 staff locally and their motto “Local food for local people” is part of their major branding and marketing strategy. “We stock as many local products as possible,” says Kieran. “In the cooler department we have local companies such as Country Kitchens from Malin, who supply soups and salads, Crana Foods make coleslaws and fresh vegetable mixes for our customers and our eggs come from Inishowen Eggs. We source fresh seasonal vegetables from small suppliers locally as well as larger set ups like Doherty’s potatoes from Bridgend. Our distribution network is also based locally to save unnecessary transportation.”

Elaine’s Hairdressers
It’s not only food suppliers that source their products locally. There are some surprises like Elaine’s Hairdressers in Buncrana. Elaine’s hairpieces come from a local supplier. “We also have a supplier in Burt who manufactures an organic moisturiser and cosmetic range”. Elaine works in a fast moving industry and new product ranges are released almost daily. It’s very popular for customers to choose organic product and ones that are gentle to the hair. We get organic hair colourant from Letterkenny and are in the process of having and organic range made even more locally.” she tells us. “The staff are also constantly upgrading their skill with courses and I try to get these courses brought to Inishowen instead of us having to travel away.” The salon is a good example on how a business such as this has a knock on effect on the local economy as the sales of magazines and coffee increases with every customer…….


susanna said...

I love this post it says everything I would say about supporting our local communities. I am an entrepeneur and have recently moved to Carndonagh.I have patronised most of the local businesses. I have found them to offer an excellent source of top quality products and services as well as excellent value for money. I was attracted by the friendly community feel of this town. I believe it is so important to support local businesses and other community initatives that help to foster a cohesive sustainable environment for the benefit of all. Small is beautiful.

Inishindie said...

Cheers. Here's a bit more, but similar...Ian

Buncrana has a lot to offer the Christmas shopper. Established companies along the main street are all stocked up and ready to cater for your Christmas shopping lists. Ardaravan and Milltown are within easy walking distance from the high street as well so all you have to do is park up your car and get shopping.

Main Street
Shops on the main street have been serving customers for the peninsula for yerars and this year is no difference. Shop wisely and carefully and you will get everything you need to fill up the stockings- and everyone’s tummies this Christmas.

Milltown and Ardravan area
The Milltown and Ardaravan shopping areas of Buncrana are the newest additions to the town. In a very short period of time the areas have become a much-needed expansion to the town merging seamlessly with the older shopping areas.

Parking is easy around Buncrana, some areas are free if you are using the shops and other areas have a small charge for the convenience of being close to the facilities.

Buncrana has both choice and value this year. All of the shops are well aware of the Credit Crunch and the North –South shopping issue. Traders realise that we are looking for bargains and are rising to the challenge of offering comparable prices to the North. Keeping the money in Inishowen also has rthe benefit of helping our economy

Shop wisely
One idea for shopping wisely this year would be only to buy presents that will fit into a matchbox. As fun as these sounds, it isn’t always practical, especially if a child wants a Playstation 2. Shopping wisely and not going over your budget are key requirements if you don’t want to be paying for this Christmas all of next year.


Wains World

Wains World has some great offers on the run up to Christmas. John, the proprieter, has put together some irresistible packages together that will save you time money and the inconvenience of clearing up after a stampede of active children if you have the party at home. John is very enthusiastic about the run up to Christmas and is even offering a parties that takes the children on a bus to an afternoon matinee at the cinema. There is also a Parent and Toddler group every Wednesday morning where people can get together, drink the complimentary tea and coffee, socialise and meet new friends whilst their children enjoy the facilities in safety. Their cafĂ© has a new menu as well and offers a wider choice of food “Why would you want to go anywhere where your kids might have to queue up for an hour to get to play on equipment?” John asks.

Elite Electrical store
Elite Electrical have a fabulous range of low energy festive lighting for both inside and outside of the house. “People are only too aware of the extra costs involved at Christmas and low energy lighting is one are we can lessen the shock of a large ESB bill.” John, the proprietor tells us. “I sell products that I know and trust,” says John. “We have two new innovative products new to the market. The Sink Erator and the Frank ‘Little Butler ‘ kettle. The Sink Erator is a waste disposal unit and can cut your waste bill by up to a third, as it will even grind chicken and chop bones up. The Little Butler is an innovative device that does away with the need for a kettle. It is a third tap on the sink and boiling water is always available.” Elite also sell top of the range fridges should you need to upgrade your old one to get all of the Christmas goodies in

Premier Carpet Co
Premier Carpet Company based on the Milltown estate is stocking a wide choice of different sized rugs for any space. It doesn’t have to be for a present either; maybe your home deserves one too. Ronan from the shop tells us of another incentive for ordering your carpets now before the Christmas period. “If you order your carpets now we will guarantee that you will have it fitted before the reindeers come onto your roof.” There is a wide range of top quality carpets to choose from. The shop also stocks a wide range of wooden and laminate flooring as well as vinyl’s for the more practical areas of the house.

Hubert McLaughlins (HML) is packed to the rafters with well-known brands. Bosh, Ryobi, Stihl and Makita tools are all well laid out and ready for holding to see if they are the tools for you. HML have some really good ideas for Christmas presents, not just for the man who wants to mix concrete or fix the coupling on a tractor linkage. This year they have a full range of Berg go-carts. Berg go-carts are made in Holland to a very high specification and can withstand even the Inishowen potholes. They have pneumatic tyres and some have more gears than a flappy paddle Ferrari.

O’Donnel’s Premier Meats
O’Donnells meats are making life easier for people who have enough on over the festive period. The staff has put together some Handy Packs of choice products. There are different ones depending on the size of family so you can choose from the basic Tea Time Pack, Handy Packs, Weekly Planner Packs and if you need to feed all of the family that come over for the big day they will make up a Freezer Top Up. There are plenty of accompaniments on offer in the shop as well so if you need a bag of spuds a packet of stuffing, fresh or frozen food it’s all conveniently laid out for an easy shopping experience.

Finishing Touch
Georgina, the proprietor of Finishing Touch, always has some mulled (alcohol free) drinks to hand to warm up any cold shoppers. Georgina has sourced fabulous gifts and Christmas stock from all over the world, most of which you have never seen before so it has a fresh and unique feel to it. All of the products on sale have come through the Ifat and Bafts Fair Trading companies so you have piece of mind that people who make the goods are well paid and work in safe working environments. “The decorations are flying out of the shop.” Georgina tells us. “There are going to be some very beautifully decorated Christmas trees this year”

Brennans Pharmacy
Brennans Pharmacy has secured a strong foothold in the area and is perfectly positioned for easy access with disability ramps and ample free parking. The shelves and counter are brimming with gift ideas from perfumes to toiletries and the friendly staff are always happy to answer any of your questions when it comes to keeping the dreaded colds at bay. Brennans are also offering a €10 gift voucher scheme, ask in store or check out the advert for more details.

Bloomin Marvellous
Even before stepping into Bloomin’ Marvellous you will see gorgeous outdoor planters that are brimming with winter colour and will be flowering well after the festive period. Polyanthus, cyclamen, ivy and skimmia all go together beautifully to warm up the winter doorway. Inside the shop you are greeted by a wide selection of cut flowers and accessories as well as indoor plants. The Christmas cacti are budding and will be in full flower and a perfect gift - and where would we be at this time of year without the poinsettia, a must for everyone’s front room. Get your order in now for any fresh plants for Christamas.

McGuigan Opticians
McGuigan’s opticians have some fabulous frames on offer for those of us that wear spectacles. The shop is set up in a minimalist fashion and is very well laid out with plenty of room to float around and try all of the frames from the practical steel racks. There are well-known brand names like D+G, Prada, Versace, Gucci and of course the famous Ray Ban range. To make buying the glasses more affordable for Christmas McGuigan’s are offering 20% off a range of designer frames and this year they have taken the innovative step of offering Christmas gift vouchers . It would be impossible to choose frames for someone else so a gift voucher will allow the recipient to choose their new style… fantastic idea.

Elaine’s Hairdressers
Elaine’s hairdressers is a warm and friendly salon has the most comfortable settees in the town and very welcoming staff that will make sure that you have the best service whatever the occasion. As well as complete pampering packages, they do Indian Head Massages to relieve the stresses of doing the last minute shopping. The salon also sell hair products and are offering the JHD straighteners at €20 less that last years prices”

Shopping in Milltown, Ardaravan or the Main Street areas of Buncrana is a very enjoyable experience and has so much to offer. With all of the facilities that Buncrana has to offer… you won’t need to shop anywhere else…

susanna said...

Thank you Ian for this comprehensive list of local businesses in Buncrana. I will check them out too. I think Irwins Electrical in Buncrana deserves a mention as well. I have bought some domestic appliances from them and found them to also offer a good product range and excellent service.

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