Seanad debates

Friday, 16 October 2020

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Photo of Robbie GallagherRobbie Gallagher (Fianna Fail)

Today is the first day of level 4 regulations for the good people of counties Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal. Yesterday evening it was absolutely heartbreaking to witness shop owners, hairdressers, beauty salons and hotels close their doors for the second time in six months. This was done through no fault of the business owners concerned. They did everything they were asked to do. They invested in their businesses, they trained their staff and today they are closing their doors and again facing an uncertain future. My heart goes out to them because I can only imagine the stress and anxiety the business owners, their families and indeed their staff are going through at this time. I welcome the measures introduced in the July stimulus package and those in the budget passed this week. All of them will be needed, and perhaps even more. However, for businesses in counties Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal, additional help is required. For that reason I propose that the Government introduce a helpline for such businesses, particularly small businesses with five or fewer employees. Those who are busy looking after their businesses and trying to survive are not aware of all the help and assistance that is out there. A helpline for those businesses is an absolute necessity so that people can pick up the phone and talk to someone who can guide them as to what they can and cannot do and what help and assistance, financial or otherwise, is available to them.

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