Allan Shine, Kildare Chamber CEO
Kildare Chamber has called the extra supports announced for businesses today in the wake of the lockdown extension announcement for the county "only a rehash" and "not sufficient".
Its CEO Allan Shine has called for a further stimulus package for the tourism and hospitality sector in the county, and has also said that the €1 million fund announced last week by Government, granted to Failte Ireland for the promotion of tourism in Kildare, Laois and Offaly, now immediately needs to be redirected to affected businesses who have an emergency need for cash flow to remain afloat
According to the Chamber, already further staff lay-offs in the hospitality sector have happened in the county today with more expected over the coming days. They said this adds further to the estimated 1,200 redundancies already in Kildare, putting more pressure on an already fragile tourism and hospitality sector in the area.
Under the Government's latest plan, Kildare businesses will receive a further 20% top-up to the Restart Plus Grant, equivalent to a 40% uplift overall. The Chamber said that 'the announcement of a further top up to the Restart Grant is welcomed but all other measures announced are already currently in place for existing businesses in Kildare'.
CEO of Co Kildare Chamber Allan Shine said “The announcement of a 6-9 month plan for living with Covid announced by the Taoiseach recently needs to be implemented immediately and must be the priority this weekend. Businesses are today laying off staff in Kildare, the seriousness of the situation is very real. The level of community transmission cases in Kildare are extremely high and whilst this lockdown will cause severe hurt and anguish to many of our members, public health is the number 1 priority with the economy coming in a close second. We must learn how to live with this virus until a vaccine is found. Opening and closing counties cannot continue, the economy needs to recover and recover quickly.”