28 Oct 2020, 12.40

In light of the unprecedented combined challenges of Covid-19 restrictions and Brexit, the Joint Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment today calls on Irish shoppers to make a particular effort to support Irish business at this time.

The Committee notes the perseverance that businesses across the State have shown since March when the first restrictions to counter the Covid-19 pandemic were implemented. In this changed consumer environment, many businesses have developed new ways of working, and of bringing their products to the market, including strengthening their online operations, the use of social media, and offering a range of delivery options.

However, the challenges continue, in particular the putting in place of Level 5 Covid arrangements as the important Christmas period approaches, while Brexit will bring new trading arrangements with Britain from January 1.

The Committee also draws attention to the wide range of supports for enterprise that have been made available in the context of Brexit and more generally. This includes incentives to business to develop their online operations. The Committee is encouraging businesses to avail fully of these supports and resources. The Supporting SMEs website is a valuable source of information for SMEs.

The Committee urges households and businesses to appreciate the power they have to support Irish business in the current challenging circumstances. In the choices that they make daily in their spending, they can contribute to ensuring that shops and other business can sustain themselves and the employment that they create, and continue to be part of the commercial and social fabric of our towns and cities. This applies equally to purchases that households make online, which have gained in prominence since the beginning of the year.

The Chair of the Committee, Deputy Maurice Quinlivan said: “The challenges facing all sectors of business in Ireland are as great now as at any time in living memory. We know that there is a danger to the continued viability of many enterprises because of the unprecedented economic shock that accompanied the pandemic since early in the year. The loss of such businesses – in particular businesses that make a point of supporting their employees and communities on an ongoing basis – would be a devastating blow. 

“By supporting those business, we support our communities more broadly, and contribute to the national effort at this time. I would encourage every individual, household and business to make a conscious effort to support Irish business in their daily spending decisions, and to make this a priority in the all-important Christmas trading period.”

The Joint Committee Enterprise, Trade and Employment has 14 Members, nine from the Dáil and five from the Seanad.

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Committee membership

Deputies

Fianna Fáil

Solidarity - People Before Profit

Sinn Féin

Independent

Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael

Senators

Fine Gael

Fianna Fáil

Green Party

Sinn Féin

Labour Party