Chamber of Commerce reacts to ‘Level 3’ COVID restrictions

6 October 2020
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

Commenting on Government’s announcement that level 3 restrictions are to be implemented nationwide Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber said:

“While not surprising, it is nonetheless challenging for business and society to move to level 3 restrictions.”

“The impact of these tighter restrictions will be immensely challenging for those operating in food & beverage, hospitality or culture-based venues. Our economy and business community are in a highly vulnerable position now. A real push is now needed from all of society, to return to level two, and ensure we can resume meaningful economic activity for retail and hospitality before Christmas.”

“SMEs, and independent operators are the very fabric of our towns, communities and cities and are among the worst affected and most at risk. These businesses will once again be faced with incredibly tough financial, operational and HR decisions. In this time of extraordinary uncertainty, Government must offer all assurances to afford businesses their best chance at forecasting the months ahead. It is without doubt now that the EWSS end-date of March 2021 is untenable and will need to be extended with the effects of the current qualification criteria under review.”

“The pressure of the imminent EU-UK withdrawal is now part of short-term business planning and the layering effect of this along with tightened restrictions could be the breaking point for many companies. We are calling on Government to give confidence in relation to business supports and to accelerate counter-cyclical investment in key projects such as CMATS to stimulate economic continuity. The real risk that our airport now faces must also be addressed through EU level travel agreement and financial supports.”

“Many businesses have embraced work-from-home for their teams, and we urge those who can, to return to, or continue with this unless absolutely necessary. The business community undoubtedly needs the backing of extended Government supports but critically, we as a community, all need to work together again. Earlier this year we demonstrated our ability to take responsibility for restricting our movements and we must dig deep again to allow for the easing of these restrictions on our community and economy.”

Recent file photo showing Conor Healy, CEO and Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber when they launched a new report Building Economic Resilience in July. 
Picture Darragh Kane
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