Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the further expansion of the DPD parcel centre with the creation of 150 additional jobs. Along with the retention of the An Post mail centre this means Athlone is becoming a vital distribution hub in the country.
“This major expansion also highlights the huge potential there is for local business to start trading online with a 90% grant currently available to set up a website or to be able to make online sales,” stated Denis Naughten.
“This Christmas season more goods than ever before will be sold online because of Covid-19 restrictions and that is why we are witnessing a further major expansion of the DPD operation in Athlone.”
He added: “This should not be viewed as a threat to local businesses as this presents an ideal opportunity not only to sell to their traditional customer base but also to sell to customers throughout the country and even globally.
“Research has shown that Irish online shoppers have a preference to purchase from an Irish company and a local business. But if they are not online, they are missing a trade which is expected to be worth about €17,000 every minute between now and Christmas Day.
“Sadly over €11,000 every minute is currently going on goods and services purchased outside Ireland.
“Also, local business can have a competitive advantage by providing a click and collect service via their website which again can be 90% grant aided through the Trading Online Voucher available from their Local Enterprise Office.
“But traders need to hurry if they want to capitalise on this opportunity for this Christmas and need to avail of the 90% rate which is about to be reduced to just 50% by contacting their Local Enterprise Office immediately,” concluded Denis Naughten.