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Almost nine in 10 businesses trading by the end of May

Figures reveal the toll taken by the pandemic on companies.

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People shopping in Dublin’s Henry Street (Niall Carson/PA)

People shopping in Dublin’s Henry Street (Niall Carson/PA)

People shopping in Dublin’s Henry Street (Niall Carson/PA)

Almost nine in 10 businesses said they were trading by the end of May, a survey has found.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) research also found that more than one in 10 had ceased trading, either temporarily or permanently.

In the results of the Business Impact of Covid-19 survey, just over 30% of respondents saw an increase in turnover following the easing of restrictions in the first phase on May 18.

The BICS survey captures information on business in Ireland as society and the economy reopens.

The online survey was sent to a sample of 3,000 businesses and the information was collected between Tuesday June 2 and Wednesday June 17.

The response rate to the survey was 27.9%.

Statistician, Colin Hanley, said: “The results show that 89.4% of responding enterprises were trading in some capacity, 9.6% have temporarily ceased trading while 1% have ceased trading permanently on May 31.

“More than seven in 10 firms had a reduction in turnover of 10% or more during the four-week period from Monday May 4 to Sunday May 31, compared to normal expectations.

“However, 30.9% indicated that their turnover had increased following the easing of restrictions on Monday May 18.

“Almost three quarters of enterprises indicated that they had rearranged the workplace to facilitate social distancing measures in response to Covid-19 while 37% had introduced occupancy limits in the workplace.”

More than two in five required mandatory PPE in the workplace and nearly three quarters of businesses said they have rearranged workspace while 37% staggered shifts to facilitate social distancing.

Over a third of firms have introduced occupancy limits in the workplace.

Businesses had an average of 46% of their workforce working at their normal place of work compared to 30% working remotely, while 20% are not currently working.

Three in 10 said they placed staff on temporary leave during the Covid-19 pandemic and had staff return to work while 12% of enterprises placed staff on temporary leave and did not have staff return to work.

More than 60% of enterprises in the construction sector had staff return to work from temporary leave in May, the highest of any sector.

More than two in five of firms reported that a reduction in demand was having a high impact on their business.

Almost three quarters of enterprises indicated that they had rearranged the workplace to facilitate social distancing measuresColin Hanley

Cashflow difficulties had no impact on 28.6% of enterprises while cost of implementing Covid-19 measures had a moderate impact on 37.4% of firms.

Over half of businesses say they have adopted new methods of communication in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The figures also show that almost three in five businesses have used government supports and it was higher for SMEs compared to large enterprises.

Of the businesses who used Government supports, more than half had availed of the revenue temporary Covid-19 wage subsidy scheme.

PA