Business impact of Covid-19: 76pc of Irish firms still trading

More than three-quarters (76pc) of Irish businesses are continuing to trade, according to the latest CSO findings.

The latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) survey, which looked at businesses between Tuesday 5 May and Monday 12 May found that a quarter of businesses were forced to cease trading because of the Covid-19 pandemic, while many that stayed open cut staff and relied on State support.

This was the second wave of the survey since the country went into lockdown in late March.

“Repurposing of production to meet new demands for products during Covid-19 was reported by 10.4pc of respondents”

“The results show that 76.0pc of responding enterprises were continuing to trade on 3 May 2020,” said CSO statistician Colin Hanley.

“From the first wave of the Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS), 16.8pc of the enterprises who had ceased trading by 19 April and also responded to Wave Two had returned to trading by 3 May,” said Hanley.

Rebuilding Ireland

CSO infographic outlining impact of Covid-19 on Irish businesses.

Most responding enterprises (70.4pc) had a reduction in turnover of 10pc or more during the two-week period from Monday 20 April to Sunday 3 May, compared to normal expectations.

“More than half (52.3pc) of enterprises who responded to the survey indicated that they had implemented working arrangements to facilitate social distancing measures in response to Covid-19.

“Repurposing of production to meet new demands for products during Covid-19 was reported by 10.4pc of respondents. This includes products such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or hand sanitiser, for example,” said Hanley.

Amongst enterprises who responded to both waves of the survey, one in six of those who had ceased trading temporarily by 19 April indicated that they had recommenced trading by 3 May.

Two of every three (66.7pc) responding enterprises in the Construction sector had ceased trading either temporarily or permanently as of 3 May 2020.

Over one in five (20.3pc) Services enterprises had also ceased trading, either temporarily or permanently, over the same period. There were large differences within the Services sector where 69.1pc of enterprises in Accommodation and Food services ceased trading, either temporarily or permanently, compared to just 8.7pc of enterprises in Information and Communications.

By contrast, the Industrial sector had the lowest proportion of enterprises which have ceased trading, either temporarily or permanently, at 14.5pc.

Written by John Kennedy (

Published: 18 May, 2020