Longford Chamber of Commerce President determined that local businesses will pull through
Longford Chamber of Commerce & Industry President, Niamh Donlon, has commended local businesses for their rapid and realistic approach to the unfolding Covid-19 crisis.
She said: “To close a business that you have spent years building is heart wrenching but we have seen many local businesses, families and friends take this option over recent days.”
Now that businesses have reacted, the Chamber President said there is now an onus on the State to step in and follow through on supports for the businesses and their employees who are suffering in these uncertain times.
She said that members want to see a suite of supports across various departments immediately and there is also a need to have information channelled through to businesses as quickly as possible.
She said: “There is a need for a single point of contact or one publication that will outline the various measures now coming on stream to support businesses. It needs to be written in plain English and obviously it will evolve on a daily basis as circumstances and the response change.”
At local level she has called on the County Council to take a sympathetic approach to rates and in instances where a business has had to close it is simply inconceivable that the local authority will look for rates over that period.
She said: “We have to pursue every measure to help get these businesses back open.”
The Chamber President said that the greatest threat to business now is cash flow and all means to ensure liquidity need to be pursued.
She said: “We need government support to ensure a responsible and timely response from banks and the insurance sector whilst Revenue needs to be agreeable to the deferral of pending VAT and duty payments. We can get through this but for many small businesses it is undoubtedly the greatest challenge they have faced and now more than ever rural Ireland and provincial towns need to see the support of government.”
Remaining upbeat, Ms Donlon paid tribute to the Longford public and added: “Businesses have been greatly boosted by the goodwill and support of the general public. Together we will get through this but we need to work together and collectively for the greater good and in the hope of safeguarding a future for our county and local businesses.”