Longford firms face ‘devastation’ as lockdown hits home

Longford in Level 5: Fears pubs may not re-open this year

Longford firms face ‘devastation’ as lockdown hits home

Beleaguered retailers are facing up to a potentially “devastating” six weeks as the country braces itself for a second coronavirus fuelled lockdown in the space of seven months.

Business owners reacted with a mix of indifference and exasperation at Monday night’s announcement by Taoiseach Micheal Martin which will see all non-essential firms close their doors until December 1.

There are also mounting fears licensed premises and so-called 'wet pubs' may not re-open until the new year as efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 take hold.

“I don't  honestly think they will,” said Andy Byrne when asked if pubs will be given the green light to re-open this side of Christmas.

“If they do let us reopen, we could be back to square one by January 1 again.”

In order to circumvent the fiscal hardship confronting pubs, Mr Byrne said there was an onus on government chiefs to ensure financial institutions “played ball” with the newly enforced restrictions. 

“They need to put a freeze on loans and mortgages when all this is going on,” he said.“It wasn't too long ago that the people bailed out the banks and now that favour needs to be returned.”

Mr Byrne's angst at the dilemma facing businesses was matched by Laura Fitzpatrick of Laura's Hair Salon. “All I am concerned about is looking after my regular customers today and tomorrow,” she said.

“I have been doing everything right since July but I just think it's madness the schools are allowed open especially secondary schools.”

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