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'The Sparkle on Your Doorstep'
Posted by Kinsale Advertiser on Thursday 5 November 2020

CORK COUNTY COUNCIL CALLS FOR “A REAL CORK CHRISTMAS”
Festive countywide initiatives to support businesses and communities during restrictions
 
Cork County Council is encouraging citizens to celebrate “A Real Cork Christmas” in our towns and villages in the run up to December 25th. Conceived as a symbolic “ARCC”, the initiative is designed to bolster communities and businesses in County Cork affected by the renewed restrictions necessary to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
 
Cork County Council is to bring the campaign to every corner of the county in a bid to;
    •    Support County Cork businesses in reaching their customers
    •    Promote the vibrant range of gifts and products on sale locally
    •    Ensure Christmas is still celebrated in a safe and meaningful way
    •    Create a sense of solidarity and hope among the people of County Cork for the future, despite ongoing challenges
 
ARCC will incorporate a promotional campaign to support businesses who have been forced to trade through click-and-collect, phone-and-collect and online. With tens of millions of euro being spent in Cork in the run up to Christmas, Cork County Council is encouraging citizens to consider the businesses near their home and to discover “The Sparkle on Your Doorstep”.
 
ARCC is an extension of Project ACT, which was established earlier in the pandemic to make a direct, positive difference to individual communities.
 
Mayor of Cork County, Councillor Mary Linehan Foley, said, “The introduction of Level 5 restrictions has come as a significant blow for our local retailers, who had been relying on the run up to Christmas to make up for lost time and business earlier in the pandemic. Many retailers in County Cork have geared up for click-and-collect, phone-and-collect and online sales, and we now need to show our support for our family and friends by making sure that what we spend this Christmas stays local. We are calling this initiative ARCC, because everyone in the county can get on board. As a community, we will celebrate Christmas as best we can while protecting and supporting each other. I look forward to leading by example, and spending as much as I can with Cork businesses in the weeks ahead”.
 
Cork County Council hopes that ARCC will engage with every one of County Cork’s 300,000 citizens at some point between now and December 25th. The Council is establishing a virtual marketplace, where businesses are invited to post their details and how potential customers can contact them. Businesses can apply to join the virtual marketplace by visiting www.yourcouncil.ie
 
ARCC will invite schoolchildren in every 4th class across County Cork to design a special Christmas postcard to represent what A Real Cork Christmas means to them. The winning designs will be drawn from each of the county’s eight municipal districts, and will be sent far and wide during the month of December. It’s hoped the cards will help people in County Cork connect with those they cannot meet this Christmas, either here at home or around the world.
 
Other upcoming events include an opportunity for the entire county community to safely celebrate as Christmas lights are officially turned on in every town and village. People are invited to join the spirit of ARCC by lighting up a window in their home or business as Cork County Council lights it’s premises across the county at 7pm on Thursday November 12th, in a moment of hope and solidarity. 

A series of initiatives will be undertaken to promote well-being and mental health. This will include Slí Na Croí Ám Nollaig, where red and white ribbons will be added to community walkways to symbolise community solidarity during this challenging period.
 
Chief executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, says, “Project ACT showed us how Cork County Council can empower our communities to make a real difference on the ground. Now, as we get closer to Christmas, we are building on that goodwill through this new initiative. Christmas is about community, and 2020 has taught us the value of standing together as a community. Our elected representatives, as always, will fully support ARCC and our teams on the ground will be doing everything they can to make this Christmas special.”

Elected representatives, Council staff and Municipal District Officers will be engaging directly with businesses, tidy towns committees and other organisations in the coming weeks on the rollout of the campaign. The latest information will be available on www.corkcoco.ie.