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Tag Archives: business

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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Clare People newspaper closes down

THERE was surprise and disappointment on Tuesday as it was announced that The Clare People newspaper had closed, after 14 years in business. It is understood that a meeting of its creditors is due to take place on August 23 at Hotel Woodstock and that the company will nominate Tom Murray of Friel Stafford as liquidator. The company has two directors, Emmet Moloney, a Clarecastle man who edited The Clare People for several years and Dómhnal Slattery, the hugely successful Ennis businessman, who is chief executive of aviation leasing company Avolon. The company last filed accounts covering 2017 and these show that it made a loss of €135,440 for the year. This was worse than 2016, when the loss had been just under €67,000. Liabilities exceeded assets, with the equity attributable to the owners a negative amount, of just over -€1.4 million The accounts showed that a sum of €747,283 was repayable to Mr Slattery, with this figure having increased …

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Fake news shows why Clare must support Shannon-opinion

WHOEVER was left in charge of the Dublin Airport Twitter account last week may have done Shannon an entirely unintended favour. Many thousands of people in Clare and indeed Limerick feel strongly about the success of the airport upon which the region’s economy depends and when Dublin Airport posted a ridiculous, self-regarding tweet about being the key gateway for the 2026 Ryder Cup in Adare, it really jarred. It has helped bring attention to the plight of our struggling airport and the fallout will show local politicians that they must take action to arrest its decline. The term fake news is derided because Donald Trump coined it and has aimed it at some of the most reputable media organisations in the world. Yet the depressing reality is that fake news is often widely believed nowadays, with ease of access to publication through social media and weak deterrents meaning that people are merrily spreading lies all around the world, every single …

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Majority of Moneypoint jobs to be axed

SOURCES have told the Clare Champion that staff at the Moneypoint Power Plant have today been told that management wish to reduce its staffing level from 192 to 86. It had been widely expected that job losses would be announced at the plant today, while ESB representatives are set to meet Clare’s Oireachtas members later this week. The ESB issued a statement this evening, but declined to confirm how many staff they wish to make redundant. “Since its commissioning in 1985, Moneypoint Power Station has played a key role in supporting the national economy through the delivery of secure, reliable and affordable power.  However, in recent years Moneypoint has been operating in an increasingly competitive energy market, actively competing to sell power and competing in auctions to acquire capacity contracts for the plant.    “In addition, the growing volume of renewables in the market and the impact of carbon prices on the price of Moneypoint output, has meant that Moneypoint …

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