The Co Kildare Chamber of Commerce this evening called for a further stimulus package for the tourism and hospitality sector in the county as a result of the Government extension to the lockdown in the county and supports announced today are only a rehash and are not sufficient. The €1 million fund announced last week by Government granted to Failte Ireland for the promotion of tourism in Kildare, Laois and Offaly now immediately needs to be redirected to affected businesses who have an emergency need for cash flow to remain afloat. Already further staff lay-offs in the hospitality sector have happened in the county today with more expected over the coming days and this this further to the estimated 1,200 redundancies already here putting more pressure on an already fragile tourism and hospitality sector in the area.
The announcement of a further top up to the restart grant is welcomed but all other measures announced are already currently in place for existing businesses in Kildare. LEO Kildare are an excellent organisation supporting business in Kildare but the announcement of the further supports are basically a rehash of existing supports that are already available.
CEO of Co Kildare Chamber Allan Shine said “The announcement of a 6-9 month plan for living with Covid announced by the Taoiseach recently needs to be implemented immediately and must be the priority this weekend. Businesses are today laying off staff in Kildare, the seriousness of the situation is very real. The level of community transmission cases in Kildare are extremely high and whilst this lockdown will cause severe hurt and anguish to many of our members, public health is the number 1 priority with the economy coming in a close second. We must learn how to live with this virus until a vaccine is found. Opening and closing counties cannot continue, the economy needs to recover and recover quickly.”