Quarter of businesses have ceased trading during Covid-19 crisis

New figures show one-third of companies have laid off staff temporarily

An almost-deserted Grafton Street in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

An almost-deserted Grafton Street in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

 

Close to half of all businesses have availed of Government support schemes during the Covid-19 crisis, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

In addition, nearly a quarter of businesses said they have temporarily or permanently ceased trading. In addition, one-third of companies reported they had temporarily let staff go while a similar percentage had cut working hours for employees.

Some 5.4 per cent of enterprises have taken on temporary staff during the five weeks under review.

The findings are included in a new fortnightly survey introduced by the CSO to provide an up-to-date snapshot of how the pandemic is affecting Irish businesses.

Some 3,000 businesses have been asked to respond to the online survey, which seeks to uncover how businesses have been affected by Covid-19 and the response to it.

The inaugural survey, which covers the period from March 16th to April 19th, shows that 54 per cent of all companies who responded to the CSO’s survey have seen a decline in revenues due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Some 3,000 businesses responded to the online survey on the effect of Covid-19 on trading
Some 3,000 businesses responded to the online survey on the effect of Covid-19 on trading

Close to 6 per cent of businesses have seen an increase turnover during the five-week period under review.

Unsurprisingly, businesses said they had seen a big decline in export volumes, with over half of survey respondents reporting a decrease. Nearly 40 per cent said imports were not affected by Covid-19.

According to the survey, 65 per cent of businesses said there was no change in their ability to access finance as yet during the pandemic. In addition, nearly two-thirds said they are confident they have the financial resources to continue operating during the crisis.

The study shows that 69 per cent of companies have implemented remote working during the pandemic with almost all large enterprise having done so compared to 45.7 per cent of micro-businesses.

Some 29 per cent of businesses said they had the majority of their workforce working from home during the five weeks under review with 23.1 per cent still going to work as normal.

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