Government has no time to waste and must support town centres during summer reopening, says Chambers Ireland
Following a meeting of Chamber CEOs, Chambers Ireland today (30 March 2021) calls on Government to use the time wisely and ensure we can plan for a sustainable reopening.
Speaking this evening, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said,
“With this lockdown lasting much longer than anticipated, our members are experiencing many difficulties and justifiable frustrations.
Chambers Ireland appreciates how difficult it is to balance the reopening with virus suppression because we know that the business community cannot face another brief reopening, followed by spike in infections, and a further lockdown.
But Government must recall that individuals, businesses, and local economies are all facing challenges too.”
The following recommendations come from dialogue with our Chamber Chief Executives.
Suppress the Virus Locally
“To get us through the summer, public health teams need resources to test, trace and isolate so that we can identify sources of infection. We have no time to waste and focused government action is required to suppress the virus in locations where transmission is still high.”
Embrace Ambition in Urban Centres
“We need to see Government, local authorities and elected officials embrace ambition, by re-imagining our high street and urban centres. This will include everything from pedestrian-friendly reforms that incentivise ‘dwell-time’ to enabling businesses to use streets and footpaths for outdoor dining.”
“Finally, communities also need more guidance and supports on how to reduce transmission in homes and shared space. New strains of the virus bring new challenges. Guidance on how to properly ventilate buildings is urgently needed.”
Clear guidance on duration of financial supports
“When a reopening finally occurs, many businesses will see their lockdown debts threaten their long-term viability, government must take action to ensure that those which can survive, do survive.”