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Survey highlights difficulties facing Irish enterprises in the lockdown

Written by Robert McHugh, on 19th May 2020. Posted in General

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The Central Statistics Office (CSO) yesterday published the latest instalment of its Business Impact of Covid-19 Survey yesterday, covering the period April 20-May 3.

The latest report shows that similar to the first version of the survey, almost 24% of enterprises had ceased trading either temporarily or permanently (23% had closed temporarily). 

The survey shows that 33% of businesses had let staff go temporarily whilst 6% had let go staff permanently, with 37% of companies recording decreased working hours. Interestingly, one in six of enterprises that had ceased trading temporarily by April 19 had recommenced trading by May 3. 

Just over 30% of respondents reported that turnover was 75-100% less than normal with less than 15% reporting it was 50-74% less than normal with another c.15% reporting it was 25-49% below normal.

From a financing perspective, enterprises largely responded (68%) that there was no change in their ability to access finance between April 20 and May 3. However, 5.5% of respondents indicated they only had cash resources to survive another 1 month, 16.8% had resources for up to 3 months, with 13.9% up to 6 months.

Forty nine percent of respondents had resources for longer than 6 months (65% for large companies and 46% for SMEs). There were 11.8% “Don’t Knows” and 3.0% were “Not Confident”. Elsewhere, just over half of enterprises (51%) have availed of government support.

According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, "Payment breaks are buying some time but with around 1 in 4 enterprises having cash resources to only last 1-3 months, this is clearly a concern given large components of the government’s SME support plan still needs to be implemented and/or require legislation, so time is of the essence."

Source: www.businessworld.ie

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