SMEs Shedding Staff Amid Coronavirus Restrictions

31 Mar 2020 | 06.22 pm

SMEs Shedding Staff Amid Coronavirus Restrictions

20% have reduced workforce, says Dublin Chamber

31 Mar 2020 | 06.22 pm

One in five companies have already laid off staff as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with further cuts likely in the coming months, according to research carried out by Dublin Chamber.

The Dublin Chamber survey of c.300 companies found that 22% of firms have already laid off staff, either temporarily or permanently. Almost one-third of respondents (30%) said they anticipate further lay-offs over the next three months.

A decline in revenue, reduced cashflow and liquidity issues were the top three impacts of the pandemic cited by businesses.

Eight in ten of the businesses surveyed by Dublin Chamber last week reported that their revenues have fallen – one-third of them have seen revenues fall by more than 50%. Three out of five of the businesses surveyed said that revenue had declined by more than 20%.

Aebhric Mc Gibney (pictured), Dublin Chamber’s director of public and international affairs, said that the results highlight the huge impact that the pandemic is having on business.

“We’ve surveyed members on a weekly basis over the past three weeks and there has been a stark rise in both the number of firms experiencing a drop in revenues and also those having to implement lay-offs.

“The survey data doesn’t just reveal the immediate difficulties facing business today, but underscores the scale of the challenge that will face the government in reviving the Irish economy when this is all over.”

Dublin Chamber’s survey found that the accommodation and food sector is one of the hardest hit from the pandemic-related business restrictions. All of the companies surveyed in the sector reported a drop in revenues, while four in five companies have laid off staff.

In other findings, the survey showed that 86% of businesses are finding the experience of remote working to be a positive one so far. Around one-third of companies that instituted remote working due to the pandemic said they would be continuing to embrace the practice as a permanent feature in their business.

 

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