Over 50% drop in trade after first Covid-19 restrictions lifted

Companies that reopened under the first phase of the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions are experiencing less than half their usual level of business activity for this time of the year, a new survey has found.

The survey of businesses across the country also found that a quarter of respondents expect to have earnings that will be 70% lower than usual over the next three months.

The data, gathered by Chambers Ireland, also shows that smaller firms have seen their revenue reduced more significantly than larger ones.

“We’ve had a mini economic Ice Age, effectively, and we need a very far-reaching programme to un-freeze it,” said Ian Talbot, chief executive of Chambers Ireland on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“There’s also a regional impact to this where we’re finding that the west, border and south-east regions seem to be worst affected – and also unpaid debts are increasingly a problem.”

More than 1,300 companies responded to the survey, which was carried out between 28 May and 2 June, prior to the most recent easing of restrictions and the granting of permission for the reopening of all retail outlets.

Overall, the results show that business activity levels have been extremely low for firms that reopened under Phase 1, beginning on 18 May.

Source: RTE