There’s a growing chorus of people urging the government to review measures to help SME’s get back on track after the coronavirus lockdown.
The latest is stockbroker Goodbody.
‘Significant damage has already been done, while some key sectors will not be able to return to full capacity due to social distancing measures for some time. The recovery will be patchy, with significant government support necessary beyond current timelines’ they predict.
The stockbroker also argues ‘further assistance for the business sector is necessary to avoid large-scale business failures.’ as outlined in their latest Irish economy health check.
For many company owners, most of the announcements in the area of supports to try and restart the Irish economic engine don’t go far enough.
From the governments standpoint, such is the economic devastation created by the lockdown, if it hasn’t already, once the country fully re-opens their cabinet meetings are likely to turn into something resembling a scene from the movie version of the Charles Dickens tale “Oliver Twist’.
Such is the demand from various sectors looking for help to get back on track from the arts to sport to public transport.
Goodbody also notes ‘Ireland’s lockdown policies have been, and continue to be, more stringent than most of the EU….Our
analysis of plans for reopening different sectors of the economy shows that Ireland is significantly slower than others, even allowing for the different timings and severity of the
outbreak of the virus.’
‘This has implications for the speed and extent to which the economy is allowed to recover, as well as possible longer-term implications for employment and the viability of businesses.’
Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot is emphasising the need for Government to engage more deeply with the reality of the economic challenges facing the business community and local economies across the country.
“We need Government to accept the scale of the economic catastrophe which is upon us, and act accordingly.’ said the Chambers chief.
‘Many sectors of the economy have been effectively excluded from the government supports introduced to date: for example, the self-employed are not eligible for the Wage Subsidy Scheme and Government has ceased the Business Continuity Grant within the past week.’
Chambers Ireland is calling for the Government to:
- Reopen and re-fund schemes like the Business Continuity Fund
- Give certainty on commercial rates, supplementing Local Authority budgets accordingly
- Expand the restart grants so that more businesses can access them
- Publish the proposed legislation that will establish the €2 billion Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund
- Publish a timeline on how long the TWSS will continue, for which sectors, and to what degree
- Give extra funding to Local Authorities so that they can facilitate the changes to our town centres that will allow businesses to adapt
Over to you Leo.