ROSCOMMON’S RECOVERY: Lights, Chamber, Action!

The room is dotted with familiar faces.

  Mostly familiar faces.

  Arms folded, they listen with interest, a businesslike mood prevailing.

  Most of those present have been around the course many times.

  At different times in our recent history, the course has been in good condition, then difficult, then almost unplayable.

  There are maybe forty members of Roscommon Chamber of Commerce in the room. It’s a Wednesday night in November and a revitalised and re-energised group are meeting to prepare for the Christmas season.

  Mostly familiar faces, salt of the earth and resilient business people from the town who have been over the course year after year.

  The course became exceptionally hazardous over the past seven or eight years.

  Now you can almost see the clouds begin to part.

  Also in the room are a handful of less familiar faces. New blood. New businesses. New members. New energy.

  It’s been an exceptionally harrowing seven years for the business fraternity, as it has been for so many within the wider community.

  Now a seven-year itch is hopefully being dealt with. There is a great town to promote. There are challenges to face.

  And the Chamber is ready.

 Quite a bit of coffee has been consumed in recent weeks…meetings held, boxes ticked, ideas developed, actions taken.

  Voluntary members are hard at work. A concerted, co-ordinated effort is being put in by an active – and pro-active – Chamber. It follows all the good groundwork of recent years. This year’s Christmas campaign features new innovations, as Roscommon Chamber members work together to highlight what’s available in the county town and to promote the ‘shop local’ ethos.

  Sub-committees have been busy. The selfless, superb Christmas Lights Committee have done their great work again. Watch out for another spectacular lights display from Gerry Dervin (chairperson) and colleagues this year, featuring further expansion of the scheme.

  Other sub-committees have overseen marketing, signage, various fringe events and a new late night shopping initiative.

  Work is being done behind closed doors and in the open air.

  Earlier in the year, the Chamber unveiled some beautiful flower arrangements throughout the town. Just now, the whole emphasis is on Christmas. The Chamber members want to sustain and increase business.

  That will maintain existing jobs and hopefully lead to new employment. But there is also a huge social and family-friendly aspect to Roscommon Chamber’s Christmas 2015 drive.

  Christmas in Roscommon town is about to move on to a new level…

 The festive season in Roscommon town will reflect the new hope which is gently seeping into the business community. The Chamber is embracing the moment and taking steps to enhance the family-friendly atmosphere in Roscommon this Christmas.

  From Sunday next, and throughout all of December, piped festive music will be a backdrop to the ebbing and flowing on Roscommon’s streets.

  There will be performances by local choirs, the now traditional great lights display, a Christmas Market, an AIB-sponsored Christmas Shop Window competition, and many more festive features.

  On this Sunday (29th of November) the great man will call. Santa always draws a huge crowd when he performs the formal switching on of the Christmas lights. Santa will do the honours on Sunday at 5 pm. The Chamber have pulled out all the stops. Complimentary hot drinks will be served (including hot chocolate, with exciting talk also of marshmallows!) from various outlets dotted around the town. Under its unassuming and industrious president, Declan Molloy, Roscommon Chamber of Commerce is taking positive forward steps. There is a new sense of determination evident, a realisation of what needs to be done and of what can be achieved, and an appreciation that teamwork is essential to the process of gaining desired outcomes.

  It’s been a very rough ride over the past seven years or so. The course has been almost unplayable. If, as seems to be the case, we are in recovery, then there is still quite a bit of recovering to be done. With businesses working together, and with the support of the public, the fightback can be successful.

  The work has begun, the Chamber is ready, the clouds are beginning to part…Roscommon’s recovery is underway.