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Tag Archives: economy

Clare businesses receive €3.5m in restart grants

Clare businesses have received €3,441,338 to date from the Government’s Covid-19 Restart Grant to help them get back on their feet. The figures were confirmed by local Fine Gael TD Joe Carey who said: “Clare County Council is responsible for administering the Government’s Restart Grant and has confirmed that small and micro businesses in Clare have now been allocated just under €3,5 million so far. “This is crucial to helping local businesses to get back on their feet after what has been an extremely difficult few months. The funding is designed to help businesses with the costs associated with reopening and re-employing workers following Covid-19 closures. Businesses can avail of between €2,000 and €10,000 for this purpose. “Getting these businesses back open is so important to the revival of our local economy here in Clare as they are such important employers.” Deputy Carey said his colleague, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar is overseeing “targeted supports” …

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Shannon Group and unions enter discussions

IT is understood that some negotiations between unions and Shannon Group management have taken place this week, as a range of cutbacks have been sought due to the fall out from Covid-19. On Wednesday a representative of one of the unions said that there had been some discussion with management earlier in the week, with a communication issued to their members subsequently. A very wide range of cuts were outlined in a letter sent by Shannon Group chief executive Mary Considine to employees last week. These included the introduction of a voluntary severance scheme, pay cuts of up to 20%, short time working, temporary lay offs and a review of management structures and of the Group’s internal operational structures. Unions at the airport quickly criticised a lack of consultation with them, while they claimed the terms of redundancy being offered were unacceptable and poorer than those being offered to workers at both Dublin and Cork airports. At Monday’s meeting of …

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“We’ll be bailing out each other”

WITH massive numbers of people out of work, even the language about the economic shock seems jaded, according to UL-based economist Stephen Kinsella. “The first thing to note is that we need to come up with new words for unprecedented,” he jokes. “The only time I can compare this to is the Second World War, the Emergency, when everything was rationed.” So many people who were contributing to the State’s coffers just a few months ago are drawing from them now but can this continue? “You could conceivably keep doing it. It costs something like €200 million a week. Every long month, that’s a billion quid. The stock of debt is slightly over €200bn and we can borrow very, very cheaply. “If it’s a question of keeping the wolf from the door for lots and lots of people or allowing them to go on the dole, then you should just keep spending the money. Forever isn’t possible but to the …

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“We are in the depression”

WHILE the battle against Covid-19 is being won in the towns and villages of the Banner, the county has slipped into an economic depression. Around 14,400 Clare people are receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350, with 900 medically certified for receipt of a Covid-19 related Illness Benefit payment. More than 1,000 Clare businesses, employing approximately 7,300 people, have registered for the Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. There are also 5,662 people on the Live Register, according to the most recent statistics from the Central Statistics Office. When all of these are combined, it seems likely that the majority of Clare’s workforce are now receiving some level of support from the State, an unprecedented situation. Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Limerick Stephen Kinsella spoke to The Clare Champion on Tuesday and when asked if an economic depression is now inevitable, he said, “I think the right way to think about it is that we are in the …

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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 …

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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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84 Clare pubs close in14 years

ALMOST one in four of the Banner’s pubs closed down between 2005 and 2018. This week, the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) produced figures for the amount of pubs operating in each of the 26 counties in the Republic in 2005 and 2018. In the year 2005, as the Irish economy boomed, Clare had 373 pubs. However, last year the figure was down to 289, a drop of 22.5%. During the years in question, pubs had to deal with greater enforcement of drink driving and lower alcohol limits, as well as a very severe recession, while the smoking ban was introduced just nine months before the start of 2005. According to DIGI, the drinks and hospitality sector in Clare still enables 6,682 jobs and €285 million in tourism spend. The average county saw its number of pubs decline by 17.9%, so Clare is on the high side. Limerick was worst hit, with 27.8% of pubs closing and Dublin did …

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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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