Chamber News

Use lockdown wisely says Chamber CEO

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Government must use lockdown to develop clear and definitive plans for the future according to Gerald Hurley, CEO Waterford Chamber.

“As the reality dawns that come Thursday our business community is set to suffer another crippling blow, we are calling on the Government to use this time wisely. There seems to be a methodology here of open and close which cannot continue. We appreciate the current effort is designed to salvage the Christmas period, but what cannot happen is that we face more of the same in 2021.

“A clear and concise plan must be put in place to support our business community and ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place to support local economies to re-open safely and avoid succumbing to new closures into the new year.

“Uncertainty is devastating for businesses owners and operators who are already reeling from the blows that the Covid-19 shocks have dealt their businesses. There needs to be clarity from Government about the economic environment that businesses will be operating in once the restrictions are eased and in the meantime, the right supports must be made available for business owners and employees who face being out of work for the immediate future.

“But we also have a responsibility. We must use our time wisely, we have not avoided a second wave, but we must do all that we can to avoid a third. For employers, this means interpreting the restrictions conservatively rather than looking for loopholes. If people can work from home, then that is the only place they should be working from. Employers must continue to do what they can to support their employees to work remotely.

“If we are to have any chance at salvaging the Christmas season for our local economy, we must act collectively, taking responsibility both for ourselves and our businesses. If compliance is not strong, if contacts are not minimised, these restrictions may not thaw until Spring.

“There is an opportunity here now to be bold, adapt your business, get online, be creative, ensure your future. Interact with others, seeks advice, share ideas and summon the determination to succeed in spite of the challenges.

“It is desperately sad and frustrating that we find ourselves in this situation again, particularly as Waterford was faring so well in terms of Covid cases. However, Government must get a handle on the situation, contact tracing endeavours need to be increased, we need more testing and faster and the HSE has to step up and be accountable. Our frontline workers are doing everything in their power to support our community and they need to have the backing of the state agency. Focus must be put on the one crisis everyone can foretell – lack of hospital beds. We’re not medical experts and we can see it, so surely the Government and HSE have pre-emited it. But why isn’t anything been done? This is simply not good enough.

“Our thoughts are with those who are directly affected – those who are sick, those who are treating the afflicted, and those who are recovering their own health. And then there are the people who Covid-19 impacts indirectly – those whose medical treatments have been cancelled in the face of the demands that this surge is placing upon our healthcare system, those who are isolated because of social distancing measures, and those that are losing their livelihoods.

“This is a time for comforting each other, working together to get through these tough times, reaching out to help those most vulnerable and supporting those who need us. We are appealing to everyone to ensure safety first and while our office is closed, we remain operational and are here to support in any way we can.”


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What Our Members Say

“Tom Murphy Car Sales Ltd has been a member of Waterford Chamber of Commerce for over 25 years. It’s a membership that serves us well as we find it gives us a platform to interact with similar businesses and puts us in front of a wide audience. Having staged a number of very successful Chamber events, both at our dealership on the Cork Road and at venues chosen by the Chamber, it really puts into perspective the value of networking and meeting with potential customers face to face. We intend to continue the partnership between Waterford Chamber of Commerce and Tom Murphy Car Sales into the future, as the results speak for themselves and we see the value in being a member of Waterford Chamber.”

Tom Murphy, Tom Murphy Car Sales



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