County Kildare Chamber, the voice of business in Kildare, has this evening (21 January 2022) welcomed the announcement by Government to ease the public health restrictions which will provide businesses across Ireland an opportunity to reach their full potential.
Following the announcement by An Taoiseach, Chamber Chief Executive Allan Shine said:
“The decision by Government today will come as a relief to the many business owners in Kildare and across Ireland who have played a crucial role in navigating the threat posed by Covid-19. Through several immensely challenging periods, they have demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting public health. Their businesses, which are hugely important to the people and strength of our local economies, now have a chance to make their full contribution to their communities and the staff they employ.
“Of course, this commitment has not been without cost. This must be recognised by Government as it considers the future of its business support schemes. Even in a best-case scenario, the risk of insolvency will still exist for businesses through no fault of their own. Existing schemes have been extremely valuable in securing continuity and stabilising the economy but, as we enter a new phase, supports will be required for those working in vulnerable sectors.
“As we manage a return to the workplace, it is also important that businesses engage with employees to deliver a safe and fair return that takes account of changes that have taken place in the last two years. For many, flexible and remote working has been a consequence of the pandemic but every effort should be made to retain the benefits it has provided to employees and the economy. The long-term benefits of doing so will be happier staff, a more inclusive labour force and higher levels of productivity.
“We must also remember that previous experience has shown that calling an end to the pandemic while the virus continues to circulate is premature. Our high vaccination level has provided an important layer of protection across the island but the threat of future variants remains. The most important step we can take to avoid that threat is to advocate for, and participate in, efforts to deliver vaccine equity and achieve high levels of protection in all regions of the world.”