Business welcomes reopening plans but cautions more clarity needed on several fronts
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has broadly welcomed the decision from Government on the planned resumption of indoor hospitality but cautioned that impacted businesses need more clarity on the workability of the system. Furthermore, while the reopening decision represents an important next step in the broader economic recovery, businesses remain disappointed over the lack of clarity regarding a glidepath from Government setting out timelines and guidance for a return to office.
Ibec Director of Membership & Sectors, Sharon Higgins said: “The decision to resume indoor hospitality represents light at the end of the tunnel for many businesses operating in the Experience Economy who have borne much of the brunt of Covid disruption since March of last year.
“As they have done since the onset of the pandemic, businesses will play their role in ensuring this phase of the reopening is undertaken safely and sustainably to deliver its success. Attention must now turn to providing these businesses with clarity and any necessary support in ensuring the workability of the indoor dining system.
“Despite the positive news of the reopening plans, businesses remain disappointed regarding the ongoing absence from Government of a formal roadmap setting out timelines and guidance for a return to office. Any such roadmap must be developed in tandem with an ongoing review of reopening timelines that reflects the risk reduction that the vaccine programme is delivering. Returning staff to office work will not only help reignite collaboration, culture and confidence in business, it is also vital in order to preserve the future of the many Experience Economy businesses in our towns and cities that rely on office worker footfall for their survival.”
The Experience Economy encompasses hospitality, retail, travel, food, drink, tourism, entertainment, and technology. It reaches deep into the supply chain, supporting business and employment in many of the hard to reach but critical elements of the economy and society.