Chamber Boss Hits Out At Businesses Using Loophole To Continue Trading During Restrictions

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Ken Tobin.

THE Tralee Chamber Alliance Chief Executive has expressed his anger at some multi-national retailers in Tralee who are continuing to trade under Level 5 Restrictions.

Ken Tobin said there is frustration amongst local retailers and other concerned business owners in Kerry, as day one of the Level 5 restrictions saw some international multiples continue to keep their doors open.

Under the latest Government restrictions only essential retail and essential services are deemed appropriate to remain open. Legislation passed last night asks that essential retailers effectively cordon off areas of their stores where non-essential goods are being sold.

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However, Mr Tobin claims some businesses in Tralee and Kerry are not doing this and have by-passed the rules applied in order to continue to trade.

Speaking today, Mr Tobin said: “From early yesterday morning it became very apparent that a number of the larger multi-national stores have continued to trade, despite the fact their local competitors have closed. It seems very apparent that these multinational chain businesses have little regard for the intent behind the current restrictions and are using loopholes in the system to continue to trade with complete disregard for the community they serve,” he said

While Mr Tobin acknowledged that these retailers are significant employers in the county, he said their actions are irresponsible.

“We will be contacting with our local TDs and Minister’s English and Varadker today to highlight our concerns. We have already made contact with the Gardai who are working with us to ensure that these businesses are forced to comply with the rules set out in the new legislation which was passed late last night.”

Mr Tobin said Gardai confirmed to him that local supermarkets have been very compliant and efforts are being made to cordon off non-essential items in their stores.

“We are very impressed with the measures put in place by many local retailers to continue trading online and using click and collect services, and we have no issue with genuine cases where businesses are complying with the rules, or where they’re business model is mainly based on the supply of essential goods and services, but when there are multi-national businesses blatantly abusing the rules, its something we just cannot tolerate as it impacts on all businesses who want to reopen fully,” he continued.

“So many local shops have closed their doors to the public and have made every effort to go online, our entire tourism and hospitality sector is closed to the general public, and we must do everything we can to make sure we see all their doors reopen in December.”

“Meanwhile we have large international stores manipulating the system, that simply does not buy-in to the solidarity of spirit to protect our communities during Level5. While this short-term gain mentality will not be forgotten by the public, local businesses will be the ultimate ones to lose out,” he concluded.

One Comment

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