We know that the COVID-19 crisis is presenting severe financial challenges for businesses so we have put together some practical hints, tips, supports and links to help you along the way.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has recommended that all non-essential retail outlets close to members of the public. All other retail outlets are to implement social distancing. Read more here. More posters, leaflets and social media assets are available on HSE posters and resources.
Latest News – Wednesday, August 5th 2020
On Wednesday, August 5th the Taoiseach said Ireland will not be progressing to Phase 4 of the roadmap on reopening Ireland on Monday, August 10th.
The Government identified five key priority areas:
- Face coverings must be worn in all shops and retail settings and shopping centres. Retail staff will also be required to wear them unless there is a partition in place or there is a space of 2 metres between them and customers.
- Pubs, bars, hotel bars, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed. Pubs currently serving food can remain open.
- Social visits to people’s homes should be limited to a max of ten people from no more than four different households.
- Current restrictions of 50 people in indoor gatherings, 200 at outdoor gatherings are being extended until 10 August.
- It is continuing to advise against all non-essential travel.
The Government will review the evidence again in three weeks’ time.
Read more here.
Other important news
- Support for businesses impacted by COVID 19 through commercial rates deferral. Read more here.
- A six-month moratorium on interest and repayments on new Microfinance Ireland COVID-19 loan. Read more here.
- The banking industry is aiming to increase the contactless payment limit from €30 to €50 by Wednesday, 1 April.
- Bank of Ireland to temporarily close 101 branches.
- A reminder to companies that Income Support Scheme available for those affected by COVID crisis. Read more here.
- Minister Humphreys Welcomes EU Approval on €200m Fund to Support Irish Business during COVID-19 Crisis. Read more here.
- Major Expansion of Business Supports for SMEs announced. Read more here.
- Minister Donohoe announces measures to ensure delivery of Exchequer-funded capital projects under Project Ireland 2040. Read more here.
- The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has proposed COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme in response to the crisis and the urgent need for retail companies to achieve a step-change in online capability. Read more here.
- An Post commits €2m funding and expertise for SMEs. Read more here.
- Restart grant scheme available for small Wicklow businesses. Read more here.
The Return to Work Safely Protocol is designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace when the economy begins to slowly open up, following the temporary closure of most businesses during the worst phase of the current pandemic.
The Protocol should be used by all workplaces to adapt their workplace procedures and practices to comply fully with the COVID-19 related public health protection measures identified as necessary by the HSE.
It sets out in very clear terms for employers and workers the steps that they must take before a workplace reopens, and while it continues to operate. A high-level consultative stakeholder forum, under the aegis of the Labour Employer Economic Forum will be established.
This forum will include membership from the various bodies with responsibility for health and safety at work and for public health more generally. The forum will allow for ongoing engagement at national level on implementation issues in light of evolving public health advice and other factors.
The Return to Work Safely Protocol, is the result of a collaborative effort by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the Health Services Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
Read more here.
Return to Work Safely templates and checklists
The HSA COVID-19 checklists and templates, based on the Protocol, have been prepared to help employers, business owners and managers to get their business up and running again and to inform workers about what they need to do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
- Checklist 1: Planning and Preparing
- Checklist 2: Control Measures to Prevent Infection
- Checklist 3: COVID-19 Induction
- Checklist 4: Dealing with a Suspected Case of COVD-19
- Checklist 5: Cleaning and Disinfection
Checklist 6: Workers
Worker Representative(s) Checklist
Checklist 7: Worker Representative(s) Checklist
A special committee has been established by Wicklow County Council to co-ordinate the reopening of Bray for business and trade.
The Reopening Committee will work in partnership with local stakeholders, including members of Bray Chamber of Commerce, the Health Service Executive and An Garda Síochána to plan for a considered, responsible return to civic life which is vital to help to restart the local economy in the town.
This is in line with the Government’s phased roadmap for reopening the country socially and economically.
Topics the Reopening Committee will consider include, but are not limited to:
- Looking at workable solutions so that businesses can re-open safely from queuing in public spaces, delivery times to waste collection times
- Temporary changes in the town centre to make it safer and more spacious for pedestrians to encourage social distancing including looking at the feasibility of widening pavements, pedestrianised zones, putting up new signage, setting down two-metre marker dots to provide a ‘visual guide’, removal of some on-street parking, the introduction of one-way systems, relocating bus stops and the removal of street furniture
- Business and public consultation
Initial measures will be kept under review and enable wider recovery using advice provided by the Government.
Cllr Anne Ferris, Cathaoirleach, Bray Municipal District, said: “The Committee will be focusing on understanding best practices, planning for protections and protocols that businesses and residents will need in place in order to feel confident about resuming activities, once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted but as a society, we all have a collective responsibility to ensure that reopening proceeds smoothly and safely.”
The Committee is keen to work closely with the local business community, to find new and innovative ways to keep everyone safe in this ‘new normal’. As part of this consultation process, we are asking businesses if they have any ideas to submit them using the form below:
The Committee will look at the feasibility of implementing practical suggestions received.
Bray’s ‘Unity in the community’ initiatives
There are several simple actions that have been implemented across the town to help drive a message of ‘Unity in the community’ during these uncertain and challenging times. They include:
- Temporary public signage to help pedestrians observe social distancing rules throughout the major public spaces in the town.
- ‘Unity in our community’ flags are flying high on the seafront to show a symbol of local strength, unity and pride.
- Temporary ground graphics will showcase ‘Positivity Stones’ which aims to help promote positive mental health and wellbeing. The first positivity stones were added to Bray beach during Connect Ballywaltrim’s 24 Hour Youth Marathon last summer which was hosted by Connect Bray Neighbourhood Youth Project.
Please scroll down the page to access more news, resources and support links.
Business Financial Supports
There is a wide range of financial supports and guidance available to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Read more here.
Business Continuity Planning
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has created a user-friendly checklist identifies a range of issues for enterprise to consider in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can download the documents here.
Enterprise Ireland is working with all government stakeholders to ensure that businesses are prepared and informed on the most up-to-date advice and supports available. Read more here.
Local Enterprise Office
Local Enterprise Offices can offer other supports that can help your business respond. These include:
- The new Business Continuity Voucher. Read more and apply here.
- New COVID-19 Business Loan. Read more here.
- Mentoring. Read more here.
- Trading Online Voucher Scheme. Read more here.
- LEAN for Micro. Read more here.
- LEO Financial Supports. Read more here.
Fáilte Ireland COVID-19 Support Hub Update
As the COVID-19 crisis rapidly evolves, Fáilte Ireland is regularly updating their online support hub with new supports and expert guidance to meet the immediate and urgent needs of tourism and hospitality businesses.
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information
Eligible self-employed people can access to the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Read more here.
Chambers Ireland is regularly updating the #COVID19 Info for Business section of their website, so as well as data & analysis of their latest Covid-19 Business #survey results, you can also find vital business resources from Government & state bodies here.
Bray & District Chamber are here to help their members…
Support and information
- They can help you access information and support through our Chambers Ireland network. They are there to get you the answers you need.
- Chambers Ireland continues to engage with Government Ministers regularly as the situation evolves, and the Chamber is in contact with our local representatives to illustrate the challenges business continue to face during this difficult time. If you have a specific issue you wish to raise, please contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We recognise that businesses will have concerns about COVID-19 and will be sending regular updates as new information is available.
More than ever Bray Chamber understands the importance of connection and helping each other. Contacts and networking are more important during these challenging times than ever before. As a Chamber, they are here to assist you.
Promotion of Your Business
What are you doing differently in your business, we challenged you to think about how you can provide services and supplies, being mindful of the current environment. Contact the Chamber with your news, maybe details of how you are changing your business to meet current (and different) demands, have you any special offers online that we can promote for you, pass on details of how people can contact you or order from you and they will pass on this information through bray.ie’s and the Chambers social media platforms and websites.
Get in touch
Please contact them on email@example.com, they are here to help. Remember, the Chamber is a small business facing the same pressures as you. It is only the support of you, their members that enables us to do the work we do on your behalf. Thank you for this.
We encourage people to play their part by spending their money locally and help struggling local businesses weather the current storm.
Let’s work together #Bray and support those close to us, as a community, we can all get through it together.
How can consumers can help:
- Shop online locally
- Buy a voucher from a local business – have you a friend’s birthday coming up, and they need some cheering up!
- Buy a voucher for your business – so when your business doors open again, you have the voucher to buy supplies, etc.
- Order Take away from a local restaurant
- Keep an eye on Bray Chamber Facebook page for special offers and news stories from local businesses
- Share these local news stories and special offers through your social media and get the word out they are open for business
There is a list of local businesses that we’re currently aware are operating during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) here.
- HSE information on COVID-19
- Department of Health updates
- HPSC COVID-19 guidance for employers & employees
- DEASP COVID-19 information for employers & employees
- HSA COVID-19 advice including advice for employers & FAQs for employers and employees on home-working
- Competition and Consumer Protection Commission COVID-19 information hub
- The Office of the Revenue Commissioners
- Advice for businesses experiencing trading difficulties as a result of COVID-19
- Business Support Call Centre
- FSAI information on COVID-19 and food safety
- Department of Foreign Affairs travel advice
- EU Export Controls for Personal Protection Equipment
- CIF Statement on COVID-19 and Construction
- Download the Enterprise Ireland Business Response COVID-19 Guide
- LEO Business Continuity Voucher Information
- Data Protection and COVID-19
- Supports for Employers, Employees & Self-Employed
- Expert Advice from Local Enterprise Office
- COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland