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By Chamber Press Office, 19 October 2020
"Moving the country to Level 5 is a decision that everyone hoped we could avoid. Following days of unwelcome lockdown uncertainty, the Government's announcement tonight - though clearly disappointing - has at least provided some clarity. Everyone's full focus must now be on ensuring that we're in a position to exit Level 5 no later than the end of the 6 week period.
"Keeping the schools and childcare facilities open is hugely important. The availability of childcare is essential to the effective running of business. This will minimise the impact of the Level 5 lockdown measures on many sectors where remote working is possible. Maintaining activity in the construction and manufacturing sectors is also to be welcomed.
"The move to Level 5 will obviously have a major impact on some sectors, such as retail. The focus now has to be on getting these businesses back open again as soon as possible. Critically, we need them open in time for Christmas. Even in a normal year, the Christmas period is hugely important for retailers. This year, Christmas takes on an added importance as it could allow many firms to recoup some of the losses they've suffered earlier in the year.
“Dublin Chamber calls on all Irish consumers to play their part over the coming weeks too. If you're shopping online, please look local first and buy from Irish businesses. Doing that will help to support local firms and save jobs.
"Government support will be crucial in helping many businesses to navigate this extremely difficult period. Dublin Chamber welcomes the extension of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Now, Dublin Chamber is calling on the Government to expedite the delivery of the business supports that were announced in last week's Budget, notably the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS). The Government is currently intimating that the CRSS claims process will not begin until mid-November. Our message to Government is that this timeline is far too slow, and we are calling for an acceleration of the support package in light of the immediate impact which the tightened restrictions will have on many struggling businesses."