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City business owner calls for continued support for locals after Tesco withdrawal

An Armagh business owner has said the news that Tesco has opted not to come to the city does not come as any surprise.

The trader – in an open letter to Armagh I – also called on local people to continue to support their local businesses.

The city centre businessman – who has asked not to be named – said independent traders in Armagh had shown great loyalty to their customers through their longevity and service to the people, often putting their own necks and livelihoods on the line to do just that.

Here is what he had to say…

Big shock news Tesco not coming to Armagh!  Not really, for global corporations, Armagh doesn’t stack up for them in their millions of pounds of profit forecasts.

I don’t know why everybody is shocked.

Where were the globals during the bad dark days in Armagh?

They were nowhere to be seen, while we, the local business people and our loyal customers, struggled through and survived it.

Suddenly, through us helping each other out, Armagh is starting to improve and the globals want a slice of the pie – the same pie that they never provided the raw ingredients for or took the effort to bake.

People are up in arms regarding millions lost and 300 jobs.

Is a local person remortgaging his house or taking a 25-year loan of £200,000 and more to start or buy a business in Armagh – employing between five and 30 people – not more of a sacrifice and risk than a global corporation spending a couple of millions?

It was the local Armagh business people who put their neck and those of their families on the line during the years to provide the services and shops in Armagh and, due to you, our loyal customers and your families, we have survived.

Some businesses have been going for 100 years or more and we continue to invest and grow in this town.

Why?

Because we are Armagh people.

We believe in this town and the loyalty of our customers.

We are grateful for every penny of your hard-earned money you spend with us.

We know your name and the names of your family and relations. We grew up together and came through hard times together.

When the going gets tough we don’t up sticks and run to another town or country.

Some might say ‘Ah, but you’re getting too expensive compared to the globals’.

In some instances we might be, but it’s not driven for profit reasons. It’s because every penny you spend with us circulates back into the local economy and not to some global corporation.

We may be more expensive because:

We employ local people, pay higher wages, sick pay and holiday pay and don’t dock our staff for absent days, leaving early or coming in late when they need to;

We stock our shops from local suppliers and pay fair costs for these supplies.

We spend our wages in local shops and on local services, helping other local business.

So the next time you go shopping I ask you honestly what is worse – a global corporation refusing to come because there’s not massive profit in it for them, or boarded up family shops on the high street because we have decided to shop outside Armagh in these global stores?

We are getting better, bigger and cheaper, but we can’t do it without your help!

Small Business Owner, Armagh

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