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76% of businesses still trading despite Covid-19 – CSO

The Central Statistics Office has found that a majority of companies have continued to trade through the Covid-19 pandemic.  

In the second of the CSO’s new Covid-19 business surveys, conducted in the week beginning May 3, 76% of companies which responded said they were continuing to trade. 

But 23.9% indicated they had ceased trading either temporarily or permanently. 

The percentage of construction companies which had ceased trading was higher at 66.7% while the percentage of firms in the accommodation and food sector was 69.1%. 

This compares with just 8.7% in the information and communications sector and 14.5% for companies engaged in industry. 

An average of just over 70% of companies reported lower than normal sales. Exports sales fell for 53.8% of companies but 37.7% said their exports were unaffected.  

The CSO also said that a majority of firms found that the price of supplies and sales had not changed more than normal. 

A third of companies said they had let workers go temporarily, while 36.7% reported staff working on fewer hours. 

A further 23% said they had cancelled or delayed recruitment plans, while 21.2% reported no change to their workforce or hours worked. 

Meanwhile, a third of companies surveyed said lower productivity was having a high impact on business.  

53.2% of businesses have implemented some social distancing measures. This increases to 77.4% of manufacturing companies. 

Today’s figures show that 70% of companies now have some arrangements for remote working. However, only 30.5% of companies have the majority of their employees working remotely. 

Just over half – 53.5% -, of businesses said cashflow difficulties were having a moderate or high impact on their business, rising to 90.5% of in the food and accommodation sector. 

However, 68.1% reported no change in their ability to access finance. 

Just under half said they were confident they had the financial resources to continue to operate longer than six months. 

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