Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Questions (150, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

150. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Taoiseach the number of permanent closures in the retail sector to date in 2021, not inclusive of the pub, restaurant or SME sectors. [16536/21]

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Peadar Tóibín

Question:

155. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Taoiseach the number of SME permanent closures in 2020 nationally and by county, respectively. [16529/21]

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Peadar Tóibín

Question:

156. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Taoiseach the number of SME permanent closures to date in 2021 nationally and by county, respectively. [16530/21]

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Peadar Tóibín

Question:

157. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Taoiseach the number of permanent restaurant closures in 2020 nationally and by county. [16532/21]

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Peadar Tóibín

Question:

158. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Taoiseach the number of permanent restaurant closures to date in 2021 nationally and by county. [16533/21]

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Peadar Tóibín

Question:

159. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Taoiseach the number of permanent pub closures to date in 2021 nationally and by county. [16535/21]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 150 and 155 to 159, inclusive, together.

The exact information requested by the Deputy is not available. However, the CSO has introduced a Business Signs of Life series to examine changes in the Irish Business Economy during the COVID-19 pandemic using available administrative data sources, and to provide more timely indicators than traditional statistical sources. The first report from this new series was published on 18 December 2020 and it provided statistics on the interaction between employment-related payments and business activity.

Using this analysis, the percentage of businesses in which all persons engaged with the business are receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) provides an indirect indicator of the percentage that are closed (i.e. not trading at all) at any given time. This analysis can also provide an indication of the percentage of businesses that have stayed closed throughout the pandemic. The analysis can be broken down by sector, but a size class (SME) and county breakdown is not available. The analysis does not include any projections.

In 2018, there were 7,553 businesses with staff engaged in the Restaurant and Mobile Food Services Activity sector (NACE I5610), 5,993 in the Beverage Serving Activity sector (NACE I5630) and 22,080 in the Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE G47). The first two sectors include restaurants and bars respectively, plus other types of business.

Business Signs of Life information for each month from March to December 2020, showing the percentage of businesses in these two sectors in which all employees received the PUP, is set out in the following table:

Month

Restaurant and Mobile Food Service (NACE I5610)

Beverage Serving (NACE I5630)

Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE G47)

March 2020

15.1%

19.6%

17.3%

April 2020

16.7%

21.6%

18.8%

May 2020

15.4%

21.5%

18.5%

June 2020

12.7%

20.9%

16.1%

July 2020

8.0%

17.9%

9.3%

August 2020

5.7%

15.5%

7.0%

September 2020

5.6%

14.9%

6.1%

October 2020

10.4%

22.0%

10.8%

November 2020

11.2%

22.4%

11.4%

December 2020

12.2%

23.6%

11.4%

From March to December 2020, 3.2% of Restaurant and Mobile Food Service enterprises had all their staff in receipt of PUP throughout the period, while 10.8% of Beverage Serving Activity enterprises had all their staff in receipt of PUP at all times from March to December. In the retail sector, 4.2% of enterprises had all staff in receipt of PUP from March to December 2020.

Corresponding statistics for 2021 are not yet available. The next edition of the CSO’s Business Signs of Life series, which will include statistics for January 2021, is being prepared for publication in mid-April. The CSO is also currently collecting an updated survey on the Business Impact of COVID-19, which will include statistics on how COVID-19 impacted on the trading activity of businesses in 2020. The results of this survey will be available in Q2 2021.