There was a resurgence in business confidence in Cork in the second quarter of 2020 as businesses navigated the uncertainty of the Covid-19 public health emergency.
According to Cork Chamber's second economic trends survey, business confidence increased to 73% from 54% in the first quarter. Of those surveyed, 73% reported a decrease in turnover and 14% increased employee numbers.
The survey reports on member experiences during April, May and June and explored the experiences of the community and their outlook on business confidence, the overall operating landscape, skills, threats and opportunities.
The second quarter bore the brunt of the shutdown across all business sectors but the survey shows some green shoots are appearing, with 24% of businesses expecting to see an increase in turnover in the coming quarter, with 19% expecting an increase to net profit.
Cork Chamber President, Paula Cogan said that while we are not in calm waters just yet, the business community has pulled together and supported each other.
"We can see this in our latest economic trends results with a resurgence in those reporting business confidence to 73% from a low of 54% in the previous survey. For context, 93% of businesses had reported as confident at the close of 2019," she said.
"This is a remarkable recovery in sentiment and a heartening insight into the resilience and determination of the Cork business community. We must continue to move forward now, support each other and work together to rebuild, better and stronger.”
Looking ahead to Budget 2021, Ms Cogan said: "Covid-19 Business Supports are reported as the number one priority for business ahead of Budget 2021, with 92% of respondents adding that a more sectoral approach is now needed in the expansion of Covid-19 supports."
"This is followed by Infrastructural Investment, and Housing Stimulus, reminding us that the challenges pre-Covid have not gone away and Government must prioritise recovery that enables a strong thriving region through investment and not austerity."