SFA National Council meets with Tanaiste on Covid-19 crisis

The SFA National Council met with Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, TD, today, at a virtual meeting of the SFA National Council. This afternoon’s discussion focused on the long-term reopening of the economy and society, teasing out solutions for further financial support for those firms that need it and the many other challenges our entrepreneurs and small business owners face.

SFA Chair, Graham Byrne said: “It is great to hear that the wider public health outlook is in a relatively positive position due to confidence in the vaccination programme and the pace of roll out and the action we have all taken to stop the rise of Coivd-19 within our communities. Small business owners, especially in the ‘experience economy’ are incredibly pleased that there are now dates for the wider reopening of the economy and are busy preparing to welcome back customers.

“Despite this positive momentum, we still do not have clear guidance for the partial and gradual return to offices that employers need so they can prepare and put systems and controls in place before they reopen to employees. We discussed the need to bring such plans forward without delay with the Tánaiste.

“Of course, reopening doesn’t mean this crisis is over for our smallest employers. These businesses are saddled with debt and will continue to experience financial difficulties. SFA welcomed the Tánaiste’s commitment to no cliff edge in financial supports and urged for the passing of the Rescue Summary Process legislation before the end of the Dáil’s summer recess."

Byrne concluded: “Our members, me included, are real entrepreneurs who have created successful businesses and real jobs here in Ireland. We have seen many crises and given the chance, we will restart, invest, re-hire and create many more jobs in the future. To do this the small business community must have adequate financial supports, debt forgiveness and the Government must ensure it is not adding to cost pressures.”