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Cllr Sarah O’Reilly: Over 3200 Irish SMEs Closed for Good in 2020 (That we know of!)

Aontú Cllr for Cavan & Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council Sarah O’Reilly has expressed significant concern over data secured by Aontú which shows over 3’200 Irish SMEs have closed up until August – but this is only part of the picture.

Cllr O’Reilly: “From January through to August of this year, 3’236 Irish SMEs have shut up shop for good. On average, over 400 SMEs are closing per month, which would see 4’854 Irish SMEs closed by the end of 2020. This is a startling rate of closures – hundreds of Irish small businesses and the livelihoods being lost each and every day. And, these are only the closures the government have been notified of. Many businesses will not notify of their closure until the end of the next filing with revenue. This was seen in the Childcare sector, more providers have closed or not reopened than have notified the Department of Children & Youth Affairs. This means that the true rate of closures is not yet known.”

“6’742 SMEs have ceased operations temporarily according to the figures provided to Aontú. In terms of SME confidence, 4’315 SMEs had no confidence that they have the resources to continue trading. A further 9’169 SMEs said they only had confidence that they would be able to continue trading for another month. Each closure represents the closure of a small business owner and the loss of jobs to many Irish families as well as another loss to the economy.”

“The Taoiseach’s office further responded that they would be carrying out a more large-scale Covid-19 Impact Report in January 2021. What use is that now? That will have meant that Irish businesses will have been going to ground for a year before the government starts looking at the reasons for their closures. Then, by the time the report is published, thousands more will have closed and the utility of the report gone. We should be conducting on-going large scale reporting which can directly inform and influence our public health decisions. At the minute, the voices of SMEs and Irish workers are shut out of the Covid-19 conversation – as more than a 100 SMEs close per week.”

By Aontú Press | 23 November, 2020

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Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics. Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.

Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.