Chamber News

Waterford Chamber statement re: Level 5

Waterford simply cannot go to Level 5 is the message this morning from Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley. Speaking following NPHET’s recommendation that the entire country moves to Level 5 for at least four weeks, Mr Hurley is calling on Government to consider regional infection rates.

“It is imperative that Government look at this in relation to case numbers. Yes Waterford spiked a couple of weeks ago, but we did our bit and our incidence rate is now at 35.3 per 100,000, while the national average is 108 cases per 100,000. We have shown the rest of the country it can be done, and we should not be penalised for the lack of effort of others.

“Waterford cannot afford to move to Level 5. Our economy has been tumultuous over the past number of years to say the very least. We have fought back and as a community we have worked together to bring about sustainability and growth. That is now in jeopardy. Our business community and the wider community has suffered enough and quite simply, we must remain at Level 2.

“We now need the Government to make an early announcement that Level 5 is not an option for the counties that have the virus under control. We do not want to have to take two steps back here in Waterford. Retailers and the wider business community have done everything asked of them since March. Looking at our numbers, we are the safest city in Ireland and we should not have to enforce further restrictions at this time.

“There is also the wider economic impact that needs grave consideration. The Government will have to provide the right supports for businesses if they are to survive this and make no mistake, many won’t make it.

“It is unfathomable how we can move from Level 2 straight to Level 5. What is the purpose of the step approach? Level 3 in Dublin cannot be enforced so how are they going to manage Level 5? There is a lot more transparency needed from Government right now. This is people’s lives they are dealing with and we deserve better.”

 

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"Waterford is a very attractive location for Foreign Direct Investment as it is a dynamic city which is very much open for business – the city has a proven track record of attracting investment from start-ups and expanding business, who are hugely supported by Waterford Chamber. The city, county and region offers a young, well educated workforce and is easily accessible for international visitors. Waterford’s quality of life for employees is exceptional as it blends elements of rich cultural heritage with a new and vibrant lifestyle – with new additions such as the Greenway further showcasing the county to not only locals, but visitors from all over Ireland and overseas. The Chamber has been a vital link in welcoming our companies into the local Business Community – helping them not only network, but also gain a sense of community and belonging."

Brendan McDonald, Regional Manager, South East Region, IDA

 

 

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