Ongoing Covid supports needed for Experience Economy
Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has called on Government to continue to deploy financial supports to those companies operating in the Experience Economy following last week’s Covid restrictions announcement.
In a letter shared to Government this afternoon, Ibec stated that feedback from its members highlight that the public are heeding the public health messaging from Government and are adjusting behaviour accordingly, including reducing social contacts. While business is fully supportive of the collective effort required to address the recent spike in Covid cases, this reduced socialising will have a damaging impact on the thousands of businesses in the Experience Economy who had only just begun to feel the benefits of reopening. It is imperative that financial supports are offered to ensure the long-term viability of the Experience Economy.
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy stated: “The impact of the latest restrictions will be particularly damaging for these firms as we enter the crucial Christmas period during which such a high share of annual revenue is earned in the Experience Economy.
“We know from the previous Covid waves, the measures that will work to help sustain this vital part of the economy. Business continues to acknowledge the successful nature of the supports provided for business and employees by Government over the course of this crisis and we urge Government to continue to ensure that these measures are fully deployed over the coming period.”
Ibec is specifically calling for:
• The €4 billion contingency fund identified in Budget 2022 is allocated as soon as necessary to provide continuity in fiscal support for businesses which remain impacted by Covid-19;
• An extension of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme beyond April 2022 as this remains the single most effective fiscal support measure for businesses and maintenance of the payment level at the rates which applied in the previous Covid waves;
• Targeted extension of the commercial rates waiver for businesses impacted by Covid restrictions into 2022;
• Revenue continues to take a reasonable position on debt warehousing and extends timelines to reflect any extension of restrictions – so Period 1 end date moves from 31 December 2021 to April 30, 2022, and pro-rata on Period 2 and 3;
• Extension of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) for those businesses again impacted by the latest public health restrictions;
• Delivering ongoing low cost and long maturity State backed loan schemes to ensure that firms seeking to recover post Covid are not hindered by significant and unsustainable debt burdens.
The Experience Economy encompasses hospitality, retail, travel, food, drink, tourism, entertainment, technology, events and organisations in the arts, cultural, sporting and heritage sectors. It reaches deep into the supply chain supporting business and employment encompassing many of hard to reach but critical elements of the economy and society: young people, small medium enterprises, regional and rural development, with real, tangible benefits for the Shared Island.