33% of businesses say a slow roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme is the single biggest risk facing their organisation, according to new research by the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland.
An extension of Level 5 restrictions beyond next month is seen as the second biggest risk at 23%.
According to the research, 78% of business leaders believe the pandemic will have a negative impact on the bottom line of their business this year.
The findings of the IoD’s quarterly Director Sentiment Monitor, to be published in full at the end of February, reveals that 70% of business leaders expect most staff to return to the workplace in the second half of the year.
Aside from Covid-19, the study reveals that Brexit is also of concern to business leaders, with 56% of respondents saying it will have a negative impact on their firm in 2021 and just 9% believing it will have a positive impact.
Meanwhile, 56% think the Government should provide further Brexit supports so that Irish exporters and importers can trade more effectively with the UK.
Maura Quinn, chief executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, said the uncertainties and challenges of last year have continued into 2021.
“Business leaders are clearly concerned about the pace at which the Covid-19 national vaccination programme is being rolled out.
“It is not unrelated that our research also finds that business leaders see the final two quarters of the year as the most likely period when most staff can return to the company workplace.
“With mass vaccination offering the tantalising prospect of a return to some semblance of normality, it is to be hoped that, once supply issues are resolved, the rollout of the vaccination programme will pick-up pace,” said Ms Quinn.