Certainty on financial supports and the reopening strategy for businesses over the coming months are required from today’s Cabinet meeting on Covid-19 restrictions, Chambers Ireland has said.
The organisation, which represents 41 individual chambers of commerce around the country, said timelines for the reopening need to contain targets and be realistic.
“First and foremost, the priority for our members is that the reopening be sustainable,” said Ian Talbot, chief executive of the organisation.
“We must not find ourselves in the same situation as last year where reopening too quickly was followed by a spike in infections and another lockdown.
“This outcome would be unacceptable to our members.”
Mr Talbot said firms need sufficient notice to be ale to recruit and train staff, replenish stock and make changes to their premises.
They also require ongoing financial support, he claimed.
“With existing extensions in place until June, vulnerable business must be given certainty on how long wage supports, grant aid, waivers and debt warehousing will be available for,” he stated.
“Being realistic, many businesses will require some degree of financial support for the remainder of this year.”
Chambers Ireland also said urban centres will need support
“While elements of the vaccine roll-out are beyond our control, the reopening of our shared urban space is within our power,” said Mr Talbot.
“While we welcome measures announced to date, including on financial grants and relaxed regulations for outdoor dining, we need significantly more coordination and ambition.”
Under the plans to be considered by Cabinet today, click-and-collect retail would resume from 10 May, along with personal services such as hairdressers.
All shops would reopen from 17 May, and hotels and guesthouses would open again on 2 June.
Outdoor hospitality in both restaurants and pubs would recommence from 7 June.