SPEND LOCAL: Local man Anthony Fee has set up spendlocal.ie to help support local businesses get back on their feet.

By Michelle Crean

A Killarney native currently living in Madrid isn’t forgetting the locals and created a website to support local businesses as they get back on their feet post-COVID-19.

Anthony Fee developed spendlocal.ie at weekends during lockdown to enable retailers to get online quickly, easily and at low cost without the need to develop a full costly website.

With a Degree in Computer Engineering from UL and experience working in Limerick as a Software Engineer before moving to Spain, Anthony says the site is like “a virtual retail tour of the town”.

It also brings local retailers together within a single marketplace therefore ensuring that their shops can always be found by potential customers, Anthony explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“In Madrid, we were under strict lockdown from the middle of March as Spain was one of the hardest hit countries,” he said. “As with many around the world, I was both extremely grateful and inspired by the work done by frontline workers right from the beginning of the pandemic. I wanted to see if there was something that I could do to help the situation after the pandemic and so I came up with the idea of spendlocal.ie.”

Shop owners can register their business within a few minutes by providing contact details, opening hours and some general information about themselves.

“They also provide a nice photo of their shop which is displayed on their virtual shop page. Spendlocal.ie also invites retailers with existing websites to join the local marketplace. Shops can provide a link to an existing website and this is added to their virtual shop page. This can be accessed by potential customers that visit the virtual shop page.”

Shop owners can then decide to register products which are displayed when a customer visits.

Spendlocal.ie also provides a Click & Collect service where customers can order their products online earlier in the day and collect them from the shop when the order has been prepared.

“This also has the advantage of reducing queues during busy periods.”

Spendlocal.ie is currently offering a six-month free trial to the first 20 shops to register on the website.

And due to travel restrictions Anthony says that unfortunately, his young daughter hasn’t met her uncles and cousins yet due to the lockdown.

“We are hoping to have a reunion in Killarney before Christmas!”