Ireland’s lockdown measures saved lives, says IDA CEO

IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan tells FDI businesses that Ireland’s measures have saved lives.

Updating foreign direct investors (FDIs) on the latest public health advisory regarding restrictions of movement due to Covid-19, IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan urged business leaders to study the phased plan as it relates to different sectors.

“All businesses should familiarise themselves with the roadmap and what it means for their operations, as it applies to essential and non-essential services,” Shanahan said in a letter to IDA client companies.

“The measures that Ireland has operated have undoubtedly saved lives”

“It will be of paramount importance that businesses make themselves aware of all public health advice and requirements and prepare for a return to work that protects employees and those accessing your facilities.”

“The measures that Ireland has operated have undoubtedly saved lives. I am extremely conscious of the continuing challenges involved for your business and I want to thank you for playing your part in getting us to this stage in dealing with this global crisis and your continued forbearance as we work towards this common goal.”

Bringing Ireland back

As well as a phased plan for the reopening of businesses, on Saturday the Irish Government revealed a €6.5bn plan to generate liquidity in the economy including a number of measures that include:

  • A three-month commercial rates waiver for impacted businesses;
  • A €2 billion Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund within the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which will make capital available to medium and large enterprises on commercial terms;
  • A €10,000 restart grant for micro and small businesses based on a rates/waiver rebate from 2019;
  • A €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme to support lending to SMEs for terms ranging from 3 months to 6 years, which will be below market interest rates;
  • The ‘warehousing’ of tax liabilities for a period of twelve months after recommencement of trading during which time there will be no debt enforcement action taken by Revenue and no interest charge accruing in respect of the warehoused debt;
  • A commitment to local authorities to make up the rates shortfall, so that local authorities can continue provide full services to the public

According to IDA Ireland’s recent financial results, the State agency’s clients now account directly for 10.5pc of national employment. Total employment in IDA-supported enterprises stood at 245,096 at the end of 2019, up from 229,057 a year earlier. FDI exports increased by 14pc to €218.7bn accounting for 68pc of national exports.

While many of the agency’s client businesses were no doubt impacted by the lockdown measures, many in vital areas like pharmaceuticals and medtech are playing a pivotal role in combating Covid-19 both locally and globally.

“Our continued thanks to those FDI employees who are working in the production and supply of necessary goods and services in Ireland and across the world,” Shanahan said.

Pictured at top: IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 7 May, 2020