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Clare at risk of “significant economic disruption”

CLARE has been ranked fifth highest of Irish counties most exposed to “significant economic disruption” caused by the Covid-19 outbreak with more than half of the commercial units in the county likely to be affected.
Cooraclare economist John Daly has conducted a study for the three Regional Assemblies of Ireland which found 50.5% of Clare’s commercial units were operating in sectors likely to be worst affected by Covid-19. This represents just over 2,500 businesses in Clare.
The analysis found that 51% of units in Newmarket-on-Fergus were at risk, 47.7% in Ennis, 43.8% Kilrush, 42.6% Sixmilebridge and 32.6% in Shannon.
Coastal and rural counties are more likely to be exposed due to their reliance on commercial units that generally require human interaction and cannot be operated remotely, the study outlines.
The GeoDirectory commercial database has been used in identifying each area’s reliance on sectors likely to be affected by measures designed to curtail the spread of Covid-19. Sectors determined as likely to be worst affected by Covid-19 for the study are: Mining and Quarrying; Construction; Wholesale and Retail, excluding those classed as essential under government guidelines; accommodation and food services; arts, entertainment and recreation services; child / day-care activities; hairdressing and other beauty treatment; activities of physical wellbeing institutes and other personal service activities.
According to Mr Daly, “The outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) will have a profound impact on every aspect of Irish society. As a result of the necessary public health measures needed to curtail the spread of Covid-19, Ireland has moved from being one of the fastest growing economies in Europe with near full employment, to a point where the unemployment rate is now forecasted to peak at 22% by the second quarter of 2020. This economic impact will have far reaching implications throughout Ireland and the ability of policymakers to use an evidence based approach in identifying the exposure, resilience and appropriate responses of our regions, counties and towns is critically important.
“Unfortunately, evidence at the appropriate level has been extremely limited. In the absence of such up-to-date regional data, and considering the sheer scale of this crisis, the need to identify and understand the economic exposure and resilience of areas across Ireland has never been stronger.
“The three Regional Assemblies of Ireland play a leadership role in regional development working with key stakeholders at EU, national, regional and local level to accelerate this agenda. This involves providing advice and support to other appropriate public bodies of the regional implications of their policies and plans, with specific focus on planning and economic development. Under our remit, the three Regional Assemblies of Ireland are fully committed to assisting in tackling such challenges and in supporting economic recovery across all of Ireland’s regions.”
The Regional Assemblies of Ireland Covid-19 Regional Economic Analysis identifies which regions, sub-regions, counties, cities and towns are more likely to be exposed to economic disruption caused by the necessary measures needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The purpose of this report is to inform policymakers at a local, regional and national level of the extent of economic exposure and resilience across Ireland. This is consistent with the key principal of building economic resilience which is detailed in each assembly’s Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy. This will be achieved by identifying the potential regional economic impact of Covid-19, ensuring that national, regional and local bodies are best equipped in designing appropriate policy responses to this unprecedented crisis. Ultimately, solutions – based on an evidence-based approach – are needed now more than ever and it is imperative that there is greater awareness of the potential economic exposure of our regions, counties and towns.”

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