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Tag Archives: economy

Pain now, but economic hope for second half of 2021

WITH the third wave of the pandemic having crushed economic activity, there is a general malaise and many businesses having closed, there is a sense of malaise and pessimism in many quarters right now. However, with a vaccine being distributed there are hopes that normal life will resume later this year and at Tuesday’s meeting of Shannon Municipal District, Clare County Council’s Director of Economic Development Liam Conneally said there is genuine cause for optimism about what may happen in the latter months of 2021. “In November and December and so far in January the number of planning applications lodged have been up on the last number of years and that is a good barometer of economic activity,” he said. Mr Conneally said that there is reason to “look forward to quarter three and quarter four with a degree of optimism,” and added that “the construction industry normally leads out on this”. Mr Conneally said that there are large projects …

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Barbers return to shave the day

DECEMBER 1 couldn’t come quickly enough for hundreds if not thousands of Clare men whose hair had grown feral since the beginning of lockdown. Ennis barber Micheál Malone has been welcoming customers back and says business has been quite brisk. “It has been very busy, it’ll be very busy for this week, people are getting Christmas haircuts as well.” Customers are very happy to finally get tidied up and get a part of their routine back. “They’re delighted to get back and to see us as well, it’s a bit of normality as well. Six weeks is a long time with people getting a haircut every four weeks.” In business for the last 25 years, he says this has been by far the strangest and most difficult one. “We’ve only worked for six months of the year really, to be honest about it. It has been strange for the staff as well, you’re not seeing them. The first lockdown was …

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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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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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