CSO: One-third of firms still unsure about longer-term viability

CSO: One-third of firms still unsure about longer-term viability
Streets have got busier but many firms are still unsure about their longer-term viability, according to the CSO.

A third of firms cannot say with full confidence that they will survive the next six months due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a tenth uncertain about their futures after one month.

Half of businesses in June made it mandatory for staff to use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks, official figures have found.

Central Statistic Office (CSO) figures from its Covid-19 business impact report found almost two-thirds, or just under 64%, of responding firms were confident in having the financial resources to continue operating for longer than six months.

Almost nine-in-10 enterprises were confident that they have the financial resources to continue operating for at least another month, the CSO reported.

However, 2.8% see their business continuing financially for less than a month, it said. 

Some 1.7% stated that they were confident that they have the financial resources to continue operating for less than one month, while just over 1% were not confident they have the financial resources to continue operating.

A total of 3,000 businesses were surveyed online for the fourth installment of the CSO Covid-19 impact survey, with 27% of completing it.

Just under 8% of firms had ceased trading, either temporarily or permanently, by June 28 - with one in every 200 firms forced to wrap up their business for good.

 

In relation to restarting businesses in June, more than three-in-10 said they had begun again.

Almost half of firms in construction restarted trading in June, while a third in wholesale and retail also resumed trade.

Almost 62% of firms overall had lower than normal turnover for the four-week period in June, while more than 28% reported turnover at or close to normal expectations.

Just over 10% had a higher than normal turnover for the period.

More than 82% of construction firms reported lower than normal turnover, while all in food and accommodation saw lower turnovers.

There was a marked upturn in fortunes for many firms after June 8, with half of wholesale and retail businesses reporting an increase in turnover.

Almost half of firms reported that their exports were not affected by the crisis, but more than a third did report a decrease.

Firms on average had almost three-in-five people back at their normal place of work, compared to over a quarter working remotely. Some 11% of staff overall were not working at all.

One-fifth of employees were welcomed back to their place of work by the average firm. 

Some 30% of businesses used temperature screening in the workplace, with almost half requiring mandatory PPE (personal protective equipment), such as gloves and facemasks in the workplace.

Almost four-in-five firms rearranged the workspace while almost 60% had staff working remotely.

More than two-in-five introduced occupancy limits in the workplace and 43% were maintaining a log of meetings to facilitate contact tracing.

Larger firms have on average spent €42,500 on measures to comply with Covid-19 safety measures, the CSO said.

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