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Tag Archives: business

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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Moneypoint workers urged to embrace ‘opportunity for survival’

WORKERS at Moneypoint have been warned that the only way the plant can remain viable as a coal burning station even until 2025 is if they quickly accept the terms being offered to them, which would see at least 106 employees made redundant. A letter, sent by station manager Seán Hegarty to the workers, warned that the plan must be in place in just over two months. “The survival plan for Moneypoint is time-bound and has a limited shelf life. If this survival plan is rejected, there is not sufficient time for another process to conclude in time for the October 31 deadline, when this Voluntary Severance Scheme is closed and in time for bidding costs into the T-1 and T-2 auctions that give us a chance of success later in the year. In the absence of this survival plan, the existing costs of Moneypoint are not sustainable and will not continue.” The letter, which is extremely frank, also stated, …

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Moneypoint workers likely to reject new proposals

WHILE a document is going to Moneypoint workers with proposals for major cost cutting, union members at the plant are very likely to reject it. It is understood that a general meeting of staff, with union officials attending, took place at the plant last Friday. A substantial document has been completed but one worker said that its contents are “just sh*te” from an employee’s perspective and that workers will not accept its terms. A ballot is due to conclude by early September but it is expected that these initial proposals will be rejected comprehensively. One of the major flaws in it, from the workers’ perspective, is a perceived lack of clarity about how people would be selected for redundancy. The ESB plans to lay off around 106 workers later this year, retaining just 86. However, there are fears that under the current document, people who wish to stay could be made compulsorily redundant and people who would like to avail …

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