Local councillor Andrea McKevitt says she is calling on the Government to extend the waiver of commercial rates for businesses affected by Covid-19, until at least December 31, 2020, and see that local authorities do not suffer as a result of the extension.
Presently the waiver was in place until September 27.
Cllr McKevitt said: “With the introduction of Level 3 across the country, the situation must be revised, to lessen the already heavy burden being carried by business owners at this worrying time.
“Businesses need reassurance at this time, as they again face closure for a minimum of three weeks, they are heading into the unknown and it is crucial that the Government continue the commercial rates waiver to assist affected businesses in the current climate.”
The north Louth representative added that many people are dealing with so many “unknowns” at the moment.
“Many local family run businesses in North Louth are questioning, when they will be permitted to open their doors again, and will it be at a reduced capacity, there are so many unknowns, but the positivity of these entrepreneurs is shining through, the majority are thankful for the period they could reconnect with staff and customers.”
She continued: “Some businesses are diversifying with a delivery or take away service, to keep themselves occupied during this time. One local business owner I spoke with yesterday, said; ‘’It is heart-breaking to be closing up shop again, and I just hope that efforts now will save the Christmas Trade, that is so heavily relied on by many businesses yearly’’
“A vast majority are already out of pocket having ensured all guidelines were strictly adhered to prior to re-opening their doors when the last restrictions eased, installing screens, sanitising stations, and providing PPE to their staff.
“I have today made representation to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien calling on him to lengthen the commercial rates waiver for all business affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
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