Maxol to Grow Support for Local SMEs by Joining Champion Green Movement

From Left to Right: Brian Donaldson, CEO of The Maxol Group, Marian O’Gorman, Chairperson Kilkenny Group and Founder of Champion Green and Damien English TD

Ireland’s largest family-owned forecourt retail brand, Maxol, has joined the Champion Green movement to demonstrate the company’s backing for SMEs and for the national campaign to support local businesses and communities. 

Damien English TD, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, welcomed the move, as he announced the new partnership at an event this week.

Minister English said “Irish SMEs employ over 1 million people in Ireland and are making a big impact in local communities right across the country.  Positive campaigns like Champion Green help to create an awareness of the strength and depth of the businesses, and their talented people working on our doorsteps.

We are right to be proud of our local SME business community, and it is important to support them when possible.  By doing so, consumers can benefit from top class local products, services and experiences – which in turn will have a positive economic and societal effect, to benefit all who live and work in the community”

To launch the partnership, Maxol commissioned a local Irish artist, AndyMc, to create a spectacular Champion Green mural. The piece was unveiled today at the Maxol service station on Mespil Road in Dublin 4, to encourage awareness of the need to support local and shop local. 

It features the Champion Green butterfly motif, symbolising the country’s emergence from our Covid cocoon to, once again, spread our wings and successfully soar. The piece also features a woman, with an appearance of asking passers-by if they support local.

The ‘support local’ movement was launched in June 2020 in response to the pandemic and the challenge posed to small businesses and independent traders, in particular.  

Brian Donaldson, CEO of The Maxol Group, said that as an Irish, family-owned business, Maxol is ideally positioned to both promote the Champion Green message and to practically help SMEs.

“Supporting local has always been a priority for Maxol, and we recognise the role we can play in helping to rebuild local economies.  Our goals are closely aligned with the Champion Green ethos and our service stations are run by local people, employing local people and serving local communities.

“Maxol has been around for more than 100 years and, as a national brand with a strong local presence, we have a responsibility to support and nurture next generation Irish brands; that is a huge focus for us.

“65% of Maxol’s bakery and deli goods are sourced from local producers and, soon, we are launching an initiative in partnership with Champion Green to give even more local businesses an opportunity to have their products on sale in Maxol stores around the country. This will further promote the support local message, and will come to life in more than 70 stores within our extensive retail network.  Details will be announced in the coming weeks, and we are looking forward to being able to make a tangible difference to as many local businesses as possible.”

Corporate Backing Crucial

Champion Green was the brainchild of businesswoman Marian O’Gorman, Chairperson of Kilkenny Design, whose family business has fostered numerous Irish craft and creative enterprises in over 50 years. 

Marian O’Gorman says the backing of major organisations like Maxol is crucial to both spread the Champion Green message and to practically help small business recover and thereby reinvigorate communities.

“The aims of Champion Green are two-fold, and corporate backers willing to invest in sustainable communities can help us achieve them.  Firstly, we encourage supporters to consciously seek out local businesses, online or in-person, and, secondly, we help SMEs to plan and market their route to recovery.”

The Champion Green campaign draws attention to the fact that almost half (46.2%) of total turnover in the private sector is down to SMEs, who also account for more than two-thirds of private sector jobs.

Supported by Kilkenny Design and Visa, in association with Retail Excellence, Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland, the Champion Green movement is backed by a €1m investment to drive consumer support for local enterprise and to help SMEs business recovery.

An Post and Aviva Ireland are also long-standing corporate partners of the initiative, which has a three year programme in place to educate and promote the merits of investing in local.

Other corporate partners to commit funding and practical supports to Champion Green include print and design specialists, Snap Printing, and AIB Merchant Services, one of the country’s largest providers of business payment solutions.

Small business owners can register for PR and marketing supports, as well as business advice, as part of the national Champion Green campaign.