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Chambers Ireland calls for wage subsidy scheme extension

Chambers Ireland has called on the Government to extend the wage subsidy scheme for some sectors and introduce a 12 month waiver on commercial rates in the July Stimulus, which is due to be published next week. 

The organisation represents 40 Chambers and more than 8,000 businesses around the country.

It said the package of supports will be “the last chance” to ensure that vulnerable businesses survive. 

It has called for grant aid to ensure that businesses can tackle debt and outstanding invoices. 

“The introduction of the ‘Restart Grant’ was a welcome first step in supporting business to re-open, but ultimately did not go far enough,” Ian Talbot, chief executive of Chambers Ireland, said. 

“Without a significant intervention from the State, the debt burden will become insurmountable for many, with closures and job losses inevitably following,” he warned. 

The call comes as the Government introduced legislation for a Credit Guarantee Scheme for businesses with fewer than 500 employees. 

The €2 billion scheme aims to provide low cost loans to companies via the main banks, with an 80% guarantee from the state. 

As well as an extension to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme for vulnerable companies, Chambers Ireland is calling on the Government to allow impacted firms to hire new staff under the TWSS. 

It also wants the Government to commit to making up the shortfall in Local Authority funding arising from its proposal to extend the commercial rates waiver for a year.

“If Government does not continue to intervene in a meaningful way, with a package totalling billions of euro, then it is quite probable that huge numbers of jobs and job creators will be lost to the economy,” Mr Talbot said. 

“If the State intervenes, we have a much better chance of protecting local economies all over the country. Without such an intervention, the economic outlook is bleak,” he concluded.

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