Flaherty wants Longford County Council to take sympathetic view on payment of rates #Covid19

Uncertain times demand emergency supports for businesses

Longford Leader Reporter

Reporter:

Longford Leader Reporter

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Flaherty wants Longford County Council to take sympathetic take on payment of rates #Covid19

Flaherty wants Longford County Council to take sympathetic take on payment of rates #Covid19

Longford TD, Joe Flaherty, has called on the County Council to take a sympathetic view when it comes to the payment of commercial rates as the impact of the Covid-19 virus takes hold.

WATCH | Longford's Jillian McNulty: 'I haven't fought tooth and nail, every day of my life, to survive cystic fibrosis and to be wiped out by coronavirus'

He says that he has written to the Council's Chief Executive, Paddy Mahon; and Director of Finance, John McKeon, advising that the local authority must be flexible when it comes to commercial rates for this period and specifically businesses that genuinely cannot afford payments as a result of this crisis.

He said: "These steps are necessary so that businesses can keep a positive cash flow."

He  stressed that emergency measures must be put in place immediately to help businesses survive the Covid-19 crisis.

Also read: 'It's armageddon down here' as Longford consumers resort to panic buying in face of Covid-19 crisis

Added Deputy Flaherty: "Many local small and medium sized businesses will face very significant cash flow issues in the short-term and the Revenue need to adopt a flexible and supportive role. For example, businesses that make a VAT return but cannot make the payment should be allowed to defer the payment without the imposition of any interest or penalties."

Having fielded multiple calls from concerned business owners and troubled employees over recent days, he said: "These are uncertain times for small businesses, who remain the bedrock of our local economy, and they need to know that they will be able to keep their heads above water. Additional supports are needed in the form of deferral of VAT and PRSI tax payments where the businesses are experiencing cash flow problems. Banks also need to issue clear guidelines on loan repayment deferrals."

Also read: An Post announces special arrangements for customers in receipt of DEASP payments