Consumers here are being encouraged to support local businesses in 2011.
Fianna Fail TD Darragh O'Brien (inset) has urged shoppers to 'buy local' in order to make our market more competitive, adding that it could "help lead us to recovery".
"The past year has been extraordinarily difficult for Irish businesses. Retailers have faced trading conditions not seen for many years and are hoping that 2011 will be a much better year.
"The unemployment rate is stabilising at the moment and I know many retailers who are hoping that they can pursue opportunities for growth and expansion in the coming year," Mr O'Brien added.
"By ensuring that we, as consumers, do our bit, we can support them to grow to the benefit of our local communities."