New Survey Shows Kerry Businesses’ Expectations Over Coming Months

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TRALEE Chamber Alliance, as part of the Chambers Ireland National Survey, has published the results of its survey showing the impact of Covid-19 on businesses throughout Kerry and nationally.

The survey results provide an outlook for business across the county over the next three to twelve months.

In terms of revenue, nationally, approximately 25% of businesses expect their revenue to decline by more than 90% over the next 3 months, versus 51% of businesses in Kerry.

Nationally, 42% of businesses have closed entirely, versus Kerry just over 70% of businesses have closed entirely and of those Kerry businesses that have closed, most expect to be closed for 12 weeks.

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Nationally 47% of businesses have laid off staff, versus Kerry where 65% have laid off staff.

In Kerry, 65% of companies reporting full lay off of staff, 34% have implemented reduced hours and home-working arrangements, with only 1% reflecting no change.

Nationally, businesses are calling for a six-month rates holiday to be of use, versus Kerry where a minimum of seven-months is being called for.

In Kerry, 86% of businesses owners/operators believe that the 2-month deferral of Commercial Rates payments will not be enough to have any meaningful impact on their business.

96% of Kerry businesses are seeking cashflow grants, as opposed to loans, to be made available to support re-opening of their businesses.

The National survey had over 1,100 (1,149) responses and was conducted between the 3rd of April and the morning of the 6th of April last. Kerry businesses comprised once again a high portion of the results 14% (155) of the total responses received from over 40 locations nationally.

The results published are from the second national survey demonstrating the impact of COVID-19 on the business community, and represent all sectors and industries across Kerry and Ireland.

These results will inform the advocacy work Tralee Chamber through Chambers Ireland, will be providing for businesses to guide Government on the next crucial steps required to support businesses during and post crisis.

The survey results from Kerry represent a cross-industry analysis and from a wide range of company sizes, with 34% of the businesses employing 10 or more staff, and almost 10% representing companies with 50+ employees.

Speaking about the results, Tralee Chamber Chief Executive Ken Tobin said; “The results show a more significant impact on businesses in Kerry, because as a county we are very reliant on our Tourism and Hospitality sector.

Therefore, it should come as no shock that we are showing double the national average of layoffs and double the impact on business revenue.

For those who have closed their business completely, the majority expect to remain closed for at least 12 weeks.

Unfortunately, as we’re seeing in other countries, the period of closure is likely to be longer for some businesses.

This will have a significant impact across all sectors in Kerry, bringing us into the start of the Summer season, and some restrictions expected to continue for weeks after that, it looks likely at this stage that the peak season will be missed almost entirely unless we get significant Government support now

From the beginning of this crisis we have been calling for an un-precedented economic response from Government to support our economy and businesses. We need action on a significant and radical ‘reboot’ of our economy, and that response cannot be delayed any further by the State.

Of a particular concern to Tralee Chamber now, is the emerging picture of the longer-term impacts of the crisis on businesses in Kerry. With 23% of businesses reporting an expected decline over ¾ of their income over the next 12months, these businesses are now high-risk for permanent closure.

This view is shared by businesses right across Kerry and Ireland, where there is almost unanimous agreement that a post-COVID-19 stimulus package is required and that part of these measures must include the provision of grants for business to help them re-open their doors and restore jobs lost. The measures already introduced, while important, were just a first response to support business to hibernate, we now need a real plan to wake up the economy.

The Business owners and staff in Kerry remain positive that we will return to work when this is over, and we know that we are facing a challenge the likes of we have never faced before, we need Government to wake up to the fact that we need to rip up the rule book and throw everything at this now”.

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