Business owners say staff are delighted to be back at work

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Limerick Chamber chief executive Dee Ryan Photo: Oisin McHugh

DESPITE fears among business organisations that staff on Covid-19 payments would be reluctant to return to work this week, the majority of Limerick business people say their workers and management are delighted to be back to work.

Limerick Chamber chief executive Dee Ryan told the Limerick Post that “the feedback is that staff are dying to get back to work and the atmosphere in the city is just amazing. Everyone is delighted to be able to open again.”
It’s understood however that a small number of the larger MId-West retailers are having difficulty hiring seasonal staff although they, too, say their regular staff are ready to come back.
Ms Ryan said that the business owners she spoke to during the week “are very glad of the clarity that Taoiseach Michael Martin gave concerning the Christmas bonus payment, There was concern that staff who came back to work before Christmas would lose out but we know now that’s not the case and everyone is relieved about that.

“Businesses are preparing for a full-on busy few weeks and they are all ready for it. There’s a great buzz in the city.”
Fiona Byrne, co-owner of Bobby Byrne’s gastro pub on O’Connell Avenue confirmed that some dates are already booked out.

She told the Limerick Post,” from the moment the Taoiseach made his announcement, every phone started ringing – the pub phone, our personal mobiles – people are just delighted to be able to get out again.
“All 33 of our staff are coming back. People who work in the hospitality industry don’t want to sit around. We have lovely customers and that makes the job easier for the staff. There wasn’t a peep out of anybody about coming back to work. They’re a fantastic bunch – we’re all really looking forward to it.”
With safety being a priority before opening on Friday, the pub has new screens dividing tables and a new outdoor canopy in the garden so that anyone who would feel more comfortable in a better open situation can relax.

Another industry already being booked up is the hair and beauty sector and Anita O’Donnell, manager of Marbles on Cruises Street told the Limerick Post they have had a massive response to the reopening news.
“It will be full on. We have a six week back-log to deal with in three and half weeks but we’re determined that anyone who wants to get their hair done before Christmas will be able to do that,” she told the Limerick Post.

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She said that slots are being filled quickly but accommodations will be made, despite reduced capacity in line with Covid-19 restrictions.
“If we have to open longer hours then we’ll do that but we won’t let our customers down.”
She said there has been “no issue” with getting staff to return. “They’re ready for a marathon.”

Read the Limerick Post Newspaper’s guide to local retailers HERE