County Kildare Chamber, Chambers Ireland and the nationwide network of Chambers has published results from a survey of the Irish business community.
This survey sought to quantify and highlight the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in our towns, cities and regions across the country.
County Kildare Chamber represents 400 businesses in Kildare across all sectors.
The Chamber is represented on several Government regional task forces, are represented on the board of Chambers Ireland and is the voice for business in County Kildare.
The latest business survey had 1,320 responses and was conducted between the 28th May and 2nd June 2020.
The survey took a read of the business environment in Phase 1 of our economy’s re-opening following the COVID-19 restrictions.
The headline findings are:
CEO of County Kildare Chamber Allan Shine said:
“Government investment into business must continue for the foreseeable. The survey results will not be a shock to anyone. Invoice arrears continue to rise, sole traders and the self-employed are the most vulnerable and many small businesses fear the worst and may have to close their doors over the coming months.
"We need dramatic financial intervention to support SMEs while they continue trading and retain jobs.
"If jobs are to be saved, if businesses are to stay trading, we need to see certainty and clarity on the longer-term economic supports so that businesses can plan for their future. These supports need to address liquidity and cover overheads. Otherwise debt, which is mounting for many businesses, will sink them.
"We require a year-long waiver for impacted business from Commercial Rates, additional funding for Local Authorities, expanded grant aid, and a targeted extension of the Wage Subsidy Scheme for remainder of 2020.
"Our members are also very mindful of the fact that many of the new supports that will need to be put in place will require a new Government, or at the very least, an Oireachtas empowered to legislate. Certainty on policy, supported by legislation and followed by rapid financial intervention, cannot come soon enough.
"In the medium term, the next Programme for Government must urgently address the crisis facing local economies. This must include the financing of an ambitious package of support that invests billions, rather than millions, of euro. Otherwise we will see our cities and towns wither further.
"We also need to look beyond the direct supports to business and consider the bigger picture. Investment in infrastructure and housing must be the centrepiece of a new Programme for Government. Town centres will be at the heart of our economic recovery, if they are not - we are looking into a decade of stunted growth."
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