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Businesses need to stay strong, but it will not be easy

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It didn’t seem easy to take, as it seemed almost inevitable for a while.

The government’s decision to raise the Covid-19 restrictions to Level 5 is a bitter pill for everyone to swallow, especially those in business.

For the past seven months, most owners and managers have been working hard to protect their companies and to better serve and protect their customers.

Their courage and diligence in the face of extreme adversity is commendable, and in many ways a state that promises vital financial life support has done little to help.

Yet the corona virus continues to spread unabated, without causing serious damage to the health of people or businesses.

As a result, large sections of our economy and society are once again moving into a deep freeze to prevent and curb that broadcast.

The results can be extremely damaging. Tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs, many permanently.

Institutions that fought through the first shutdown may not have created it by the second.

Sectors such as hospitality, tourism, retail, sports and entertainment have already collapsed in recent months.

This time around, the business is not as intense as it was in March / April.

As in retail, for example, when non-essential outlets have to be closed, the definition of what is considered sufficient to be open is broader than spring.

Markets that mainly serve food for sale, as well as hardware and lets toilets that sell products needed for essential maintenance and operation of residences and businesses, may remain active this time.

Construction will also remain open, meaning that the jobs of the now 147,000 construction workers and 50,000 people involved in the supply chain will remain safe.

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Many services such as production, distribution of machinery, repair, installation, agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fishing are considered essential to continue.

That is, when the country closes again, it will do so to a greater extent than before.

Secondly, this is not the moment to underestimate the impact on businesses that have to close their doors.

Many have done this in the first instance, and it will be short-lived, and the pandemic wave will wash us away and at least not return with the same attitude, they will do so and trade faster.

But bitter history shows us that there is no guarantee when dealing with Kovid-19.

The double-dip recession cannot be ruled out now as the additional economic damage is significant.

Support for employees through the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and for some who have unfortunately lost their jobs due to pandemic unemployment payments will still cost an unknown amount, which is expected to run into the millions of euros.

ESRI also conducted some economic modeling over the summer in view of the impact of further lockdown on the domestic economy in the last quarter of this year.

It was found that if the basic conditions at that time (i.e. no more lockdowns) continue, consumption will end by 2019, down -9% per year.

But if we had another lockdown in the last three months of the year, we found that by the end of December that figure would be -16%.

Under basic conditions, it estimates that investment will fall by -17% this year but will fall by -28% if the Level 5 style restrictions are implemented in the last quarter.

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In terms of unemployment, the base figure for the year 2020, which assumes no change in regulations, averaged 17%.

However, the ESRI predicts that the proportion of average workers will rise to 19% in severe conditions.

If the last few months have taught us anything, like the Irish people, the Irish economy and treasury are remarkable, strong and ili energetic.

Despite all the challenges, the corporate sector (especially the foreign multinationals here) faced the storm in an extraordinary way.

Now those institutions are being asked to go to the well one more time and start a business and draw the “whatever it takes” mentality and ethical ethics needed to grow.

As they can expect, this second phase will have the desired effect of strict controls, so they can reopen to save something from the Christmas season.

They want a clear path to reopening, support for doing so, and steps to ensure that this up-and-down soot-style approach to the use of controls does not continue.

Buy locally, buy Irish, buy regularly, we can help them wherever possible until December 25th.

We can also help control the spread of the corona virus by doing the right thing.

Because, for the sake of our jobs and the future of our economy and society, we all need Irish businesses to stay strong.

It’s not easy to happen, however.

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