Cash-flow has been identified as the number one difficulty for our members during the economic downturn caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. Chambers Ireland yesterday (31 March 2020) calls on businesses, public and private, who are able to pay their bills, to do so, and support fellow business owners, especially self-employed, to stay afloat during the crisis.
Speaking yesterday, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “We know that maintaining cash-flow in these difficult times is the number one issue for businesses around the country. As the results of our survey last week confirmed, many businesses have already felt a decline in turnover, and it is likely this will only get worse. However, there are businesses who have not been hit quite so dramatically, so we are calling on these companies to play their part and ensure they pay bills on time. This of course also goes for public bodies and state agencies.
Keeping cash moving in the economy, where possible, will be essential to supporting businesses through this crisis. But of course, we in the private sector can only do so much. Over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to need even more support from Government.
Once the threat of the Coronavirus passes, access to working-capital, grants and low interest finance must be provided by the State. The economic crisis we find ourselves in now is akin to a mini ice-age. Unprecedented economic interventions will be required, to un-freeze the economy and support employers to re-open and maintain jobs.
Competitor countries, both in the EU and further afield, are doing much more to support business. Government needs to appreciate the scale of the threat facing business. Doing too little to support business is the real risk we face right now. At an absolute minimum, deferrals and moratoriums on VAT, commercial rates and other changes must last for the duration of the crisis.
The pace at which Government departments and agencies are operating to respond to this crisis is to their credit. But as we learned last week, it is important to ensure that the detail of schemes announced is carefully considered and clearly communicated. When this does not happen, it adds to confusion and uncertainty. However, as a Network, we stand ready to work with the State to meet the challenge of this crisis and support the business community through it.”