Chamber Calls On Public To Help Save Businesses Through Support And Compliance

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Ken Tobin of Tralee Chamber Alliance.

TRALEE Chamber Alliance is asking the people of Kerry to help save businesses by shopping local this Christmas and adhering to all public health guidelines so we can come out of Level 5 restrictions as soon as possible.

The Chief Executive, Ken Tobin, said there will be temporary and permanent job losses, particularly in the retail, hospitality and the service businesses across Kerry, because of the imposition of the Level 5.

He also said that some people did not comply with public health guidelines, resulting in a rise in cases and eventually the restoration of the lockdown.

“Acknowledging that the restrictions are all too familiar from earlier in the year, businesses are questioning why, if the majority of them complied with the restrictions on being covid-compliant, are we back in this situation once more?” said Mr Tobin.

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“Why, if businesses put all that effort in to ensure the safety of their staff and customers, are they paying the price again? Why, if we have made all this effort, are we not better prepared to live with Covid?

The simple answer is not everyone in our community complied with the restrictions, not everyone used their common sense, far too many looked for loopholes and acted in disregard rather than buying into the spirit of battling this virus. Quite simply this virus was always going to come back in a second wave and we should have been better prepared. This time round it has to be different.”

This time around Tralee Chamber have a few simple messages. The first message is for everyone in the community in Tralee and Kerry to use some common sense.

Ken Tobin said the public needs to give businesses that worked so hard to trade over the past few months, the chance to reopen and also give our health service the chance to cope over the coming weeks to battle this virus.

“It is up to every single member of the public to use this chance to do things right, we need to stomp out complacency. Over the past while, the messaging from Government has caused some to be confused, but we are asking people to not look for the loopholes. Rather than waiting for clarity on the guidelines we should all show some leadership and take responsibility for ourselves,” he said.

“Our second message for people is to help us save our towns. Over the coming weeks people need to shop locally online and support those doing takeaway, and then in six weeks’ time come out again and support our hospitality and service businesses. This is not just another shop local message, for many this is an actual tipping point, if we do not act now, we are looking at an accelerated failure of our towns. If we do not act now many of these businesses in our community will not be here in a years’ time.”

The Chamber also called on the Government to ensure a rapid delivery of supports for businesses impacted by this new wave of restrictions.

They said the Covid-19 Restriction Support Scheme (CRSS) and previously announced Restart Grant top-up of 30% must be made available right now or there will be huge numbers permanently laid off in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The announced wage support increases for employees and the self-employed must be provided immediately.

Secondly, the Chamber is asking the Government to ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place to support our local economies to re-open safely and avoid new closures in the New Year.

Finally, they are asking Government to ensure these current Level 5 restrictions serve their purpose by enforcement. They are asking for 100% compliance in Kerry during these six weeks to support the health service and to work towards a Level 2 return for businesses in Kerry rather than a Level 3 return.

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