ENNIS Chamber is appealing to people to support businesses that have been hit by flooding in the run-up to Christmas.
Rita McInerney of the Chamber told The Clare Champion that businesses will need all the help they can get.
“Of course, safety is absolutely paramount but as Ennis recovers from this, as time goes by, we would be hoping that, coming up to Christmas, people would consider shopping local and supporting businesses that have been affected in the past week. They have suffered from lack of trade and our appeal would be to support the local shops.”
The Chamber held a meeting on Monday night at which town manager Ger Dollard spoke to members. “It was very helpful in establishing communication between the crisis management agency and ourselves and he gave a very good presentation,” Ms McInerney commented.
She said that members are also seeking to support people whose homes or businesses have been flooded. “People are assisting with the location of residential properties for people who have been displaced.
“We have a database of information showing properties that are available for short-term renting. Normally, property wouldn’t be available for a week or two but people are being very helpful and we have someone co-ordinating information. There are discounts being given compared to what people would normally be looking for.
“We also have information on business space and capacity is being made available to other people who require spare office space or storage room.”
Business people are likely to face problems with insurance, she commented. “There is a concern in relation to insurance, particularly for people who have claimed previously, for example back in 1995. They are likely to have difficulties this time.”
She said that Chamber members at Bindon Street and the Gort Road industrial estate were particularly affected.
Ms McInerney said that businesses would need to remain vigilant, with unsettled weather set to continue. “Things have changed even since Monday, we have another alert now and it’s a balancing act for business people between keeping trading and with doing what’s needed to assist those affected and keeping in line with what the gardaí and the emergency services need us to do.”
At the time of writing Ms McInerney said that a number of businesses at the Gort Road industrial estate had reopened. However, she said that the estate has to be approached from the Gort side, as flooding is still limiting access.