THE Totally Tullamore Christmas promotion co-ordinated by a group of concerned Tullamore traders was a great success according to one of the organisers, Barbara O'Connell.
Speaking at a special meeting of Tullamore Chamber of Commerce last Monday night at which an urgent call was made to the Town Council to reduce the Annual Rate of Valuation Ms O'Connell said there was no doubt that the promotion had a "huge impact" on local business.
"The promotion was born out of a number of issues the main one being the definite leakage of trade from Tullamore particularly at weekends. Parking was a huge factor in this so we decided to approach the Council looking for their co-operation in a promotion starting for Christmas," she told the meeting.
"Our initial main concern was the relaxing of the parking laws, the Council also agreed to help financially. It was organised within a short space of time with great assistance from the local media.
"There was a huge response from local businesses who all gave vouchers towards the prize fund. The first prize was vouchers for €10,000 I was refused by only two people I approached which is a great response especially in these difficult times."
Anyone who shopped in Tullamore during the run-up to Christmas could enter the competition by giving their details in the participating shops. All this information will now be analysed by Transition Year Students at the Sacred Heart School and a database will be formed whereby Traders will be able to see from where their business is coming.
"A major factor in the success of this was the free parking. Footflow was down somewhat but it would have been far worse if we didn't undertake this campaign.
"With the free parking for three hours people could take the time to see what was on offer in Tullamore which helped enormously. There is no doubt we will do the same thing again next year and we will expect the same support again from the Council. It was good to do something positive. We all know it is terrible out there. It is important that we do something."