Business confidence in Cork plummets as Covid-19 overtakes Brexit

Business confidence in Cork plummets as Covid-19 overtakes Brexit
Cork Chamber president Paula Cogan. Picture: Michael O’Sullivan

Business confidence among Cork businesses has plummeted with 80% of companies reporting they are not confident in the economy.

The first Cork Chamber Economic Trends Survey of 2020 captured the sentiment of the Cork business community during the uncertainty owing to the Covid-19 pandemic shock.

Just 19% of businesses in the region are now expressing confidence for the future, a significant reversal on the previous 79% from the last quarter.

In relation to employment, 35% of businesses expect a decrease in employee numbers over the next 12 months, while 16% expect an increase during the same period.

“Never in our lifetime have
we faced a shock of this magnitude affecting all sectors of our economy, and all aspects of our society,” Cork Chamber president Paula Cogan said.

“Of stark contrast with previous quarters, we saw a dramatic decrease in those reporting business confidence to 54% from a previous 93%, the first such dramatic shift of this scale since the survey commenced in 2009,” she said. “While not surprising, this is incredibly concerning. The survey which was circulated to businesses during the two-week period where nationally we moved from Covid-19 pandemic concern to high-level threat clearly reflects the rising unease accompanying the escalation of the threat level.”

The survey asked the thoughts of the Cork business community on their first quarter and the outlook for the year ahead on business confidence, the overall operating landscape, skills, threats and opportunities.

In addition, the survey, sponsored by Ulster Bank, measures progress on diversity and inclusion policies and supports in the workplace.

Reporting on turnover in the first quarter, 51% of businesses indicated a decrease, compared with 9% in our previous quarter. For
net profit, 47% indicated a decrease, at 9% in the previous quarter.

The survey results report that 71% of businesses expect a drop in turnover in the coming quarter, with 75% expecting a drop to net profit.

“We are indeed in uncharted territory. While we have a strong and resilient business community here in Cork, it is essential that businesses and the jobs they create are supported throughout this shock and beyond,” Ms Cogan said.

“The Government supports to date, and in particular, the Wage Subsidy Scheme are very much welcome and as a chamber we will continue to advocate on behalf of the business community and employees for the supports to keep businesses operational, to reopen their doors in the comings months, and to keep those that can work in work.”

Since 2018 the survey had consistently reported Brexit as the number one threat to business.

More on this topic

Office supply wholesaler Spicers Ireland is rescued from liquidationOffice supply wholesaler Spicers Ireland is rescued from liquidation

Providence Resources' new Barryroe partner flags early funding delayProvidence Resources' new Barryroe partner flags early funding delay

Senior moves at financial services company JTCSenior moves at financial services company JTC

Business MoversBusiness Movers


More in this Section

FBD digs its heels in on payment issue as Covid claim cases top 700FBD digs its heels in on payment issue as Covid claim cases top 700

Ryanair leads travel stock surge as holiday hotspots prepare to reopenRyanair leads travel stock surge as holiday hotspots prepare to reopen

Shares drive ahead amid hopes for lifting of Covid-19 global lock downsShares drive ahead amid hopes for lifting of Covid-19 global lock downs

France unveils €8bn plan to rescue ailing car industryFrance unveils €8bn plan to rescue ailing car industry


Lifestyle

The model mum took a coronavirus test in preparation for the procedure.Everything to know about breast implant removal, as Chrissy Teigen says she’s undergoing surgery

Cathal Coughlan is known for his part in Microdisney, but for many people his best output came with the harder-edged band he formed afterwards, writes Ed PowerB-Side the Leeside: The Fatima Mansions and the story of 'Viva Dead Ponies'

Limerick singer-songwriter Emma Langford recently released a new single ‘Mariana’ available to buy on Bandcamp, with all proceeds going to Safe Ireland.Question of Taste: Singer-songwriter Emma Langford

These jammy thumbprint cookies are dangerously moreish.Jammy thumbprint cookies recipe

More From The Irish Examiner