Business group Dublin Chamber has welcomed Budget 2021 as an urgently needed support package which will bring relief and assurance to many struggling businesses.
However, the Chamber has cautioned that further measures will be needed in the upcoming National Economic Plan to stimulate investment in Ireland’s ailing SME sector.
Dublin Chamber, which represents 1,300 companies in the Dublin region, welcomed the newly announced Covid-19 Restrictions Support Scheme, which will see grants of up to €5,000 per week made available to businesses that have been forced to close or that have suffered a drop of 80% in turnover. The Chamber said this new measure will provide a vital lifeline to many of the businesses worst impacted by Covid-19.
Dublin Chamber also welcomed the new health package announced in Budget 2021, describing it as an investment in business security.
Speaking yesterday, Dublin Chamber ‘s Head of Public Affairs, Fergus Sharpe said, "The €4 billion health package should be seen an investment in both the economy and society. It is critical that this is used to put in place a comprehensive testing, tracing, and isolation system to allow for a more refined response to Covid-19 where possible and to keep further economic disruption to a necessary minimum. The absence of sufficient data on the sources of infections appears to have left policymakers with few options in recent weeks."
He added, "However, intermittent blanket shutdowns on a precautionary basis may not be sustainable in the long term. Six months into the pandemic, businesses are asking for a more advanced approach which would facilitate, for example, more localised lockdowns based on clear evidence about the sources of outbreaks and clusters of the virus. Government provision for testing and tracing has not yet been adequate to support this, but we hope package announced today will be a game-changer."