Limerick Chamber, the largest business representative body in the Md-West, has today said that state bodies must act swiftly to put clear and quick solutions in place to prevent a COVID-19 economic implosion.
Commenting following the announcement yesterday of a range of government measures to slow down the spread of the virus, Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan welcomed the government intervention but said that there now needs to be a swift introduction of clear initiatives to support business through this crisis or else many will fail within months.
Limerick Chamber has, on behalf of its members, been heavily involved this week in discussions with Oireachtas members and through its National body, with Government officials and Minister Heather Humphreys to formulate two key asks of government to avoid a regional economic collapse.
“Cashflow is critical for business and so we need Government to commit to immediate action to ensure the viability of business,” she said.
Limerick Chamber has called for
- Immediate Deferral of VAT, PAYE and PRSI payments will be due to Revenue next week. It is essential that government allows a deferral of the payments that fall during this period of confinement when business is interrupted. Our membership has already felt the commercial hit of Covid-19, and many will struggle to keep their doors open in the coming weeks. Ensuring cash-flow will be critical to their ability to see this crisis through
- Prompt payment obligations: Our membership needs Government to ensure that all departments, local authorities, and public sector bodies adhere to their prompt payments obligations. If our members are to be able to maintain employment across the period of this economic shock, employers need state bodies to lead by example through ensuring that their bills are paid as early as possible.
“This will be an unprecedented sudden collapse unless state bodies react appropriately,” Ms Ryan warned.
“What we need now is a swift response that will give clarity, certainty and flexibility to business. Liquidity and cash flow will be a key issue and we have brought the concerns of our members here on the ground in Limerick and the wider region to the national network and together with other chambers have formulated this ask, which we believe can get us through this.
“Our members are innovative and resourceful but that alone won’t get them through a longer sustained period of business interruption.
“The initiatives we have proposed, together with our support to members and their own efforts, are critical to assist business with cashflow through this period.
“This crisis won’t go on indefinitely, it will end and when it does our economy will come roaring back but we need to bridge the period between now and then in order to ensure that business owners and workers have jobs to go back to.”
She continued: “A common concern and priority for SME business owners is how long can they afford to continue to pay staff? We need government to provide clarity around social welfare supports in this unprecedented situation, so that employers can answer employees questions with certainty.’
The Chamber is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that businesses get the supports they need to relieve stress, at a time when members focus should be on personal safety and our collective health.”