14 March 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Independent Cork City Councillor Cllr. Ken O’ Flynn says that Cork businesses need to see leadership from Cork City Council and Cork County Council as every business is likely to face exceptional pressure on its cash flow in the weeks and months ahead.
“I am suggesting that both Cork City Council and Cork County Council need to immediately announce a commercial rates moratorium of at least three months so that businesses can have confidence in the ability of both local authorities to listen to the needs of their customers. There is no doubt that we are in uncharted waters now in respect of business, its continuance and its survival and on speaking to some business people in the hospitality and services sector, they are gravely concerned for their businesses, their cash flow and their ability to keep on their staff on. A small gesture from both local authorities would be to implement an immediate rates moratorium to June 30th 2020. This would certainly help people and give them confidence that their local authorities are not only listening to their concerns but are proactive in doing something to help them. A moratorium will cost the local authorities nothing and will not lose them income but it could save jobs, save businesses and help our business people who will be the worst affected as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It is far easier for local authorities to access emergency funding if they need it than it is for businesses and therefore our two local authorities should step up to the plate immediately.” Cllr. O’ Flynn said.
However, in Ireland, the 31 Local Authorities are required to follow the lead of the Dublin based Department of Local Government. Leadership is required from the Capital to help Local Authorities in this and many other urgent issues.