Majority of businesses worried about further lockdown, survey shows



Almost two-thirds of businesses are worried an increase in Covid-19 cases will lead to another lockdown, according to a survey from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The survey, which looked at the impact of Covid-19 on business, found more than half (54.1 per cent) of enterprises had lower than normal turnover between June 29th and July 26th, and 46.8 per cent said reduced consumer demand was one of their top two concerns.

Office-based businesses were found to have an average of 59.2 per cent of staff working remotely.

More than half (54.3 per cent) of enterprises have introduced mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace, while 45.3 per cent have provided protective screening for staff.

The survey also looked at increasing business costs since the beginning of the lockdown in March. It found 20.4 per cent of the responding enterprises said business costs had exceeded turnover between March 16th and July 26th this year.

The findings come as the Cabinet meets on Tuesday to discuss recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team on preventing a surge of Covid-19 cases.

Responding to the survey, Michael Kavanagh, chief executive of the Association of Compliance Officers Ireland said it revealed a “worried and struggling business community in Ireland, with reduced turnover and uncertainty around a looming second lockdown having a real impact.”

“We must support our local economies around the country, and the businesses that are essential to them,” he said.

The online survey was sent by the CSO to a sample of 3,000 businesses, and the results represent responding enterprises only and are unweighted.


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