Today (24 April 2020) Chambers Ireland launches its latest Covid-19 Business Community Survey. The third in a series, the survey seeks quantify the economic impact COVID-19 is having on businesses around the country and looks at the supports that will be needed to reboot the economy.
This survey is targeted at businesses who are members of their local chambers of commerce and those that are not. With it, we seek to chart out the effects of the Covid-19 restrictions on the Irish Business community, and through creating an evidence base, assist policy makers and business owners guide our economy through the Covid-19 challenges.
Our last survey, which was published on the 9th April, with over 1110 responses, found 84% of businesses expect revenue to decline by in excess of 25% in the next three months, up from 73% two weeks earlier. 25% of those who responded expect revenue to collapse by more than 90%, with one in five businesses laying off all staff. For those who have closed their operations entirely, most expect to remain closed for at least 12 weeks. Fears about cashflow and liquidity were the greatest concerns of micro-enterprises (<10 employees) with closures and staffing being a concern for larger businesses across many sectors.
With lockdown measures due to expire on the 5 May, Chambers Ireland seeks to start a conversation with businesses on how local economies can be supported to re-open. If your business has been affected by Covid-19 please let us know your experiences here: Chambers Ireland Covid-19 Business Community Survey.
Speaking today Chambers Ireland’s Chief Executive, Ian Talbot, said, “While it remains unclear when exactly the wider economy will begin to reopen, what is clear is that we must begin to plan for how the economy will reopen, and how businesses will be supported in this process.
We have made clear in our communications with Government that deciding the date of relaxing the lockdown is only the first step. It is very possible that we will go through a series of cycles, where measures are relaxed and restricted, in response to the virus. Each time this happens, there are likely to be costs.
What we hope to achieve from this latest Business Community Survey is a deeper understanding of the economic impact businesses are experiencing, the supports they will need to survive the crisis, and the supports they will need to re-open once we reach a point where at least some of the restrictions can be relaxed.
If we do not understand the scale and the nature of the economic impact on local economies, then we risk focusing the recovery efforts on the wrong areas. An accurate picture of how this crisis is affecting the business community and what supports they will need from Government is essential if we are to successfully reboot the economy.
So, to businesses right around the country, please make sure you share your experience with us and make your voice heard.”