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Tag Archives: business

Multi nationals booming despite Covid-19

THE move to Level 5 restrictions has seen the domestic economy slump further, with many locally owned businesses having to close their doors again. While many people have been left out of work, at least temporarily, there is a more positive dimension to the local employment situation, with a number of multinational companies in Clare and the wider region trying to find new staff. This week saw an announcement by US company exida that it will create 25 new jobs in Shannon , while Joe Robbins of Careerwise Recruitment said the Pharma/Life Sciences/ Medical Devices sector is booming in the mid-west. “If you consider so many companies are working on a vaccine, they’ve continued to hire, and a lot of them are growing. They’re hiring from a small pool of people, and if you’re a quality engineer or a manufacturing engineer, or a chemist or a scientist, you’ve a lot of choice. I’m talking about the mid-west but in Cork …

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“We were closed for 12 weeks already and this is six weeks”

REALLY passionate about his business, the initial lockdown was very hard for Patrick Bourke, and there are probably few people who are as disappointed to be closing again as the retailer who runs prominent men’s clothes shops in Ennis and Kilrush. “We were closed for 12 weeks already and this is six weeks, so it’s more than a third of the year. Outside of the fact that it’s a third of the year, it’s a time when we would have done 40% of our business,” he said on Tuesday afternoon, as the spectre of lockdown loomed. While they didn’t run an online store earlier in the year, they have one in place now, just in time for another lockdown. It has made a flying start and Patrick says it will be good for business and will keep him busy over the coming weeks. “We launched online last week, and it has been beyond our expectations. It won’t replace the lost …

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Lahinch and Kilkee bask in afterglow of staycation boom

AFTER an unusually warm and sunny weekend, Kilkee was overcast and somewhat autumnal on Monday afternoon. Staycationers were fewer than they had been even 24 hours earlier, but shopkeeper Donal Hayes wasn’t complaining as he said the season which is ending has been the best one for many years. While the pandemic has crippled many businesses and even some entire industries, it has actually helped his shop. “It’s been a huge benefit to us, I hate to say it, but it was. The only poor weekend was Whit weekend, I think that was the way for the whole of the town. The summer was excellent, last weekend was as good as any over the summer. You can see today it has quietened a lot so we’ll see how it goes until the October Bank Holiday Weekend, if we can get the weekends out of it we’ll be very, very happy with that.” Asked if business would have been up five …

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Sweet smell of success for childhood friends

TWO enterprising Ennis ladies put the long weeks of the lockdown to good use when they learned news skills and started their own business. Danielle Kenneally and Chantell Keane, who are long-time friends, and hail from Waterpark Heights and Hermitage respectively, both have day jobs that they love, but recently found that a shared passion for candle-making has inspired them to work towards building their own business. “We go back a long way,” said Chantell. “We spend a lot of time together and during lockdown, we decided that we would do some online training. We were interested in scented candles because we both love them and saw a gap in the market in terms of providing a great customer service.” The girls were soon putting their training and creativity to good use with the production of a special line of wax melts. “A wax melt is basically a wickless candle,” Danielle explained. “They’re fragranced and you melt them by putting …

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Government funding sought to rescue iconic tourist attractions

WITH hoteliers and others in the tourism business furious about the early closure of Shannon Heritage sites this year, Shannon Group has said it has approached the Government seeking very significant funding. It says it is already losing money at the tourist attractions and there is no way that it could keep them open beyond August 31 without substantial funding to cover operational losses. In response to a query from The Clare Champion, Shannon Group said it has already made a submission to the Government looking for funding for the Shannon Heritage sites, in particular Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s Castle. It claimed it had done so to assist with the long-term survival of these heritage operations, in the context of the sudden collapse in international visitors due to Covid-19. On the level of support being sought, a spokesperson said that “a multi-million euro support package” is required. While Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and King John’s …

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McNamara concerned lockdown favoured multinationals over small business

CONCERN has been raised by the Chairperson of the Covid-19 Committee that restrictions associated with the coronavirus have disproportionately impacted on small business and driven economic activity “into the hands of multinationals”. Deputy Michael McNamara made his remarks this week as the committee heard from representatives of the business sector. The Scariff-based deputy handed over the chairperson’s role to Deputy Mary Butler, in order to question witnesses Danny McCoy of IBEC and Neil McDonnell of ISME. He noted that a concerning trend during lockdown had been a boost in business for multinationals at the expense of small business. “One of the most worrying economic or financial aspects of the restrictions was the extent to which all economic activity was driven into the hands of multinationals, many of which are headquartered outside of Ireland and pay their taxes elsewhere,” he told the committee. “Farmers’ markets, for example, were inexplicably shut down and people had to go to supermarkets, all of which …

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Ennis Chamber survey reveals business concerns over Covid-19

A NEW survey carried out by Ennis Chamber of Commerce has provided a localised view of how businesses across Clare have been impacted by COVID-19. The COVID-19 Business Survey, conducted in conjunction with Clare FM, also gauges reaction to the suggestion that the town centre be pedestrianised to facilitate social distancing. Ennis Chamber CEO, Margaret O’Brien said the response reveals just how stressed and anxious business owners are. “Although we now have a government roadmap for reopening our economy,” she said, “the level of uncertainty evident from the responses by business owners in County Clare, suggests that those fears, rooted in uncertainty, are set to continue. Shops, cafés, pubs, hotels, hairdressers and beauticians now know when they can open, but that knowledge does little to quell the fear that co-existing with COVID-19 restrictions could mean trading to break even, as opposed to turning a profit.” The strongest sectoral response to the survey, came from retail, representing 42% of all respondents, with hospitality and tourism accounting …

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100 new jobs for Shannon

SHANNON company Modular Automation has announced it will create another 100 jobs by 2023. It has also acquired eight acres of land for future development and 60,000ft2 of ‘ready to go’ production space, to support immediate capacity requirements. An Irish company, it has been in business since 1986 and is now involved in the MedTech manufacturing sector. Ireland is the second largest exporter of medical devices in Europe, with nine of the world’s top 10 MedTech companies based here. Modular Automation’s customer base includes the likes of Johnson & Johnson, Stryker and Boston Scientific. “Our team has doubled in the past five years to over 170 employees and due to growing demand, we now plan to create another 100 jobs over the next three years. We are also investing to substantially expand our facility to give us the capacity to deliver more for our customers, both at home and across the US,” said Vivian Farrell, CEO of Modular Automation. Modular …

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