Local businessman and community activist Andrew Reynolds has called on Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to immediately offer “an absolute guarantee of further financial supports to assist those operating in the hospitality sector” until such time as they can safely reopen their businesses once again.
Speaking in response to Mr. Varadkar’s recent comments in which he urged local authorities to “do what they can” for local restaurants and cafes by supporting outdoor seating where possible in towns and cities this summer, Mr. Reynolds said the move “was not enough”.
“As someone who works in the catering industry – with a significant number of employees – I was deeply disillusioned to see no apparent positive plan of action in place to facilitate cafes with facilities for indoor seating only.
“Now, a year after the first case of Covid-19 hit Ireland, the repercussions have been catastrophic for all businesses, with the tourism industry hit extremely hard. Hotel bookings are down dramatically and many catering companies, restaurants and cafe owners are now either closed or struggling to make ends meet as a result of repeated lockdowns.
“Business owners have already lost an entire summer of trade and are potentially set to lose another this year as well. This has sadly meant many proprietors have had to close their doors for, I believe, the last time, particularly those in rural Ireland where the local cafe was a point of social contact for so many.
“For this reason, I am calling for further clarity from the Tánaiste on this issue as a matter of urgency and call for this guarantee of further financial supports to assist those of us working in the hospitality sector until such time as we can safely reopen our doors again” Mr. Reynolds concluded.