Business closure response

Business closure response

In response to the escalating challenges faced by small businesses, heightened also with the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, Dave O’Brien, finance spokesperson for the Cork Business Association (CBA) and Tax Partner with Quintas, issues a clarion call for government intervention.

In 2023, The CBA held discussions with key government officials including Minister for Finance Michael McGrath, and Minister for Trade and Employment Simon Coveney highlighting the major issues facing businesses. The CBA Budget 2023 submission also relayed the issues including debt warehousing, increases in minimum wage, security costs, staff accommodation, inflation, high-interest rates, and upcoming challenges such as employer PRSI increases and mandatory pension contributions for employees.

O’Brien notes, “Our advice is for businesses to engage with their creditors, especially Revenue, and see what can be done regarding repayment schedules. You should not be forced into repayment periods that are not sustainable. Revenue will often accommodate longer repayment periods but do need to be nudged in the right direction.”

He further emphasizes the need for businesses to conduct a thorough solvency review, urging them to consider restructuring before resorting to closure. O’Brien points to the relevance of the relatively new SCARP scheme (Small Business Rescue Package), stating, “For instance, the SCARP scheme should be considered and will, we believe, become very relevant over the coming months and years.”

Cork has seen recent closures in various sectors, particularly within the hospitality trade, underlining the urgency of comprehensive solutions. O’Brien asserts that the CBA is dedicated to working closely with political representatives to develop strategies and policies aimed at safeguarding the interests of small businesses.

The CBA remains resolute in its commitment to supporting the small business community during these challenging times. By fostering open communication with government officials and advocating for practical solutions, the CBA will ensure that our community’s voice is heard, and drive to mitigate the adverse effects of economic hardships on Cork businesses.

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