Drogheda Chamber and Chambers around the country in conjunction with Chambers Ireland are engaging with the HSE, Government Departments and Local Authorities to work through these implications of businesses reopening, while adhering to the directive.
Further easing of restrictions, the latest information on business supports are available here
Jan 17th - Guidance on Face Masks -The HSE has issued updated guidance on the correct wearing of masks. This covers different types of masks including medical masks, respirator masks and cloth masks - Read More
Dec 31st - Public health measures in place right now visit Gov.ie
Nov 29thWORK SAFELY UPDATE
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has issued an update to the Work Safely protocol. This document is available below and contains updated guidance on keeping staff as safe as possible during the reopening process. It has also issued a guidance note from the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF) Consultative Group, which takes account of the call to work from home.READ WORK SAFELY
#LayerUp is a new national campaign to encourage "layering up" on behaviours that together will help protect us and others from Covid-19. These include getting vaccinated, wearing face masks, washing/sanitising our hands frequently, keeping our distance, meet up outdoors where possible, and ensuring indoor spaces are well ventilated. Posters to support the #LayerUp campaign are available here while a Partner Pack, outlining the concept, key messages and social media ideas, is available here PARTNER PACK
Public Health Measures Updated November 16th 2021 -Visit Here
Organised indoor group activities Visit www.Gov.ie
Organised outdoor group activities Visit www.Gov.ie
Statutory Instruments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic S.I. No. 385 of 2021 Health Act 1947 (Sections 31AB and 31AD) (COVID-19) (Operation of Certain Indoor Premises) Regulations 2021 is available here.
Indoor Dining Guide - Indoor hospitality guidelines from Fáilte Ireland
Sector-Based Reopening Guidance - A comprehensive list ofCOVID-19 guidelinesfor 14 sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry is available from Fáilte Ireland
CRSS Restart Grant - Businesses which may now reopen can make a claim for an enhanced restart Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) payment. Read More
COVID Digital Certificate Checker - Information on the use of the COVID-19 Digital Certificate Checker is now available. The checker tool can be used to check the validity of a Digital COVID Certificate. Learn More
COVID Guidance for Shopping Centres -The National Standards Authority of Ireland has issued an information and best practice guide for shopping centres operating during COVID-19.It is focused on providing a safe environment for workers and staff and can be downloaded Here.
Ventilation Checklist -The Health and Safety Authority has issued a ventilation checklist to help businesses prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect staff and customers in the workplace. Ventilation Checklist
EWSS Update from Revenue -Revenue has provided an update on the operation of the EWSS. This includes information on changes to the assessment period, a new eligibility review form and confirmation that existing subsidy rates will stay the same until at least September 30, 2021. Learn More
Government waives court fees and excise duties for vintners for 2021 -The Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys TD, and the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, TD, are pleased to announce that Government has approved a waiver of court fees and excise duties for vintners for the second consecutive year. Read More
Phased reopening of indoor hospitality agreed by Government - Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin today welcomed the Government decision to agree a phased approach to reopen the hospitality sector in a cautious but progressive manner.Read More
Pathways to Work Strategy 2021 - 2025 - Pathways to Work 2021-2025 is the Government’s national employment services strategy; the Government’s overall framework for activation and employment support policy. The aim of the strategy is to assist people back to work as the economy and labour market recovers from COVID-19. Read More
Ventilation - Work Safely Campaign
An important starting point for workplace safety is ensuring there is good ventilation throughout your premises to ensure contaminated air is removed as efficiently as possible. The following is a poster from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with tips to ensure your premises is suitably configured to provide regular fresh air and avoid recycling stale air. Download Poster
Outdoor events - As planned, numbers for organised events can increase to 200 or 500 for stadia or venues with a capacity of over 5,000
Indoor activities, such as organised events, return of service in bars and restaurants, training, group exercise, dance Will not proceed as planned, pending the implementation of a system to verify vaccination or immunity. Government will devise an implementation plan by 19 July
Wedding - As an exception, weddings already planned will be permitted to proceed on the basis of the expected changes, with 50 guests permitted to attend wedding receptions with protective measures
Funerals - The number of mourners permitted at funerals continues to be limited to 50, regardless of size of venue. Attendance at wakes in private homes and at funeral homes is for family only. Related family gatherings should strictly adhere to prevailing public health advice on household mixing, including visitors to your home and indoor and outdoor dining
Other religious ceremonies - It is advised that religious ceremonies such as Baptisms, First Holy Communions and Confirmations should not take place at this time. Further advice will follow on resumption of these ceremonies when it is safe to do so
Vaccine and recovery bonus - No limit on number of people who can visit together if they are all fully protected by vaccination or have recovered from COVID-19 infection in the previous 9 months
Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) open from today for applications from both SMEs & microenterprisesRead more Here
The easiest way to close a claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is online via www.MyWelfare.ie
Any worker returning to work with an enquiry about closing their claim, can contact the Department’s dedicated income support helpline at 1890 800 024 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The payment period of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is Friday to Thursday. Where a worker has at least one qualifying day of work in the period Friday to Thursday, they will receive full payment for that week. A person who closes their claim to return to work on any day other than Friday (the first day in the week) will receive payment for the full PUP entitlement week.
And remember, any period of paid holidays is considered to be a period of insurable employment in the same way as if the employee was in work.
Any employer who has difficulty in attracting the workers back to the workplace, or suspects that someone is mis-claiming welfare income support can contact the Department email@example.com.
The Department will be happy to review cases where these complaints arise. Employers can be assured that officials in the Department will follow up on these notifications.
If an employer is seeking assistance in recruiting for vacant positions, the Employer Relations team will be happy to help.
Please firstname.lastname@example.org set out your requirements and we’ll be happy to help. This notesets out some of recruitment available to employers who are looking to recruit for roles in their business.
You can also publish your vacancies to www.jobsireland.ie. When you register you can post your job at no charge, access the website 24/7 and get information on financial supports and accessibility supports and grants and also access the Irish and European network of public employment services to identify the talent you need for your business.
Employer Guidance for the TWSS Reconciliation. Deadline for completion 30th June 2021
FACE FACTS CAMPAIGN
Part of the wider Work Safely campaign, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has started the Face Facts initiative to promote mask wearing in shops. If you would like to receive posters and visual imagery to remind customers of the continued requirement to wear face masks, please send an email to the following Sheryar.Qaiser@enterprise.gov.ie.
COVID-19 SUPPORTS FOR BUSINESS GUIDE
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has issued a comprehensive guide to all the supports available to businesses impacted by COVID-19. READ GUIDE
NEW COVID GRANT SCHEME FOR BUSINESS
Phase 1 of the €8,000 grant under the new Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC) is now openRead More Here
Latest update on temporary restrictions:CLICK HERE
Face covering legislation amended: S.I. No. 21 of 2021 Health Act 1947 (Section 31A - Temporary Restrictions) (COVID-19) (Face Coverings in Certain Premises and Businesses) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021:CLICK HERE
Please refer to the Updated Guidelines from Revenue
Minister Humphries has reassured workers that PUP will remain open for new claims until March 2021; any worker who returns to work, only to have the business closes again in the New Year, will be able to avail of the payment. The easiest way to close a claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is online viawww.MyWelfare.ie. Any worker returning to work with an enquiry about closing their claim, can contact the Department’s dedicated income support helpline at 1890 800 024 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
Any employer who has difficulty in attracting the workers back to the workplace, or suspects that someone is mis-claiming welfare income support can contact the Department at email@example.com; the Department will be happy to review cases where these complaints arise. Employers can be assured that officials in the Department will follow up on these notifications.
If an employer is seeking assistance in recruiting for vacant positions, the Employer Relations team will be happy to help; please firstname.lastname@example.org set out your requirements and we’ll be happy to help.
NSAI - COVID 19 Retail Protection and Improvement Guide Here
Tourism & Hospitality Industry Sector. Fáilte Ireland updated guidelines for the tourism and hospitality industry to reflect Government Public Health advice. VisitCOVID-19 Business Supports Hubfor expert advice, guidance and FAQ. Businesses can download the toolkit for printable assets outlining key safety measureshere. It’s important that we all stay safe. Paul Kelly, CEO, Fáilte Ireland
Your quick guide to Level 3 and the Christmas regulations Visit Gov.ie
Oct 19th-Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund extended until November 13th at 5pm. For application forms and eligibility criteria, clickhere The enhanced Trading Online Voucher Scheme has also been extended. For more information on the scheme, and for application forms, clickhere
Latest Update; SMEs; A Guide to COVID-19 Financial Support Measures
Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund is now open for Applications. This fund is a new support for small businesses who have not been able to avail of other business supports, including the ReStart Grant. With grants of between €500 and €1000 small businesses can apply now to avail of this fund. For application forms and eligibility criteria, click here: Closing date is 5pm 9th October, so do not delay
A National 5-Level Framework is now in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
€600 million in funding agreed for health service Winter Initiative Read More Here
NEW MICROENTERPRISE ASSISTANCE FUND A new Micro-Enterprise Assistance Fund has been announced, to help businesses with fewer than 10 employees, which are ineligible for existing grants, with a grant of up to €1,000 to help them adapt and invest to rebuild their business.
Dept of Employment Affairs & Social Protection COVID-19 Update | Extension of Suspension of certain Redundancy Provisions & extension of COVID-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit
The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has secured government approval to extend the suspension of redundancy provisions relating to temporary lay-off and short-time work, which arose as a result of COVID-19 until 17 September.
The Minister also secured approval to extend the duration of the COVID-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit until 31 March.
The Government has agreed to publish the Credit Guarantee (Amendment) Bill 2020, which will underpin the new COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme and will also remove the portfolio cap, which will result in an increased potential maximum liability for the State of €1.6 billion. The legislation is expected to go through the Oireachtas next week.
MICROENTERPRISE LOAN FUND (AMENDMENT) BILL 2020 - SIGNED INTO LAW Last Friday 10th July, it was confirmed by the Office of the President of Ireland that the Microenteprise Loan Fund (Amendment) Bill 2020 had been signed into law. The Microenterprise Loan (Amendment) Bill allows for increased funding for Microfinance Ireland (MFI) which provides loans of up to €50,000 to businesses employing ten staff or less. For further information on this Bill (now signed into law), click here.
COVID-19 OFFICIAL TRACKER APP NOW AVAILABLE;
The Irish Government have launched the official (Free) COVID-19 Tracker App.
alert you if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus
advise you on what to do to protect yourself and others
alert other app users that you were in close contact with, if you test positive for Coronavirus
Louth County Enterprise Fund Now that you have mastered Skype and Zoom, why not try some other Digital Tools that help develop business and make communication and planning more efficient. Check out www.digitalchangemakers.eu for more detail – especially ‘Learning Resources’ Mob: 087-2341455 Email: email@example.com
Phase 3 of Ireland'sRoadmap for reopening which is in place right now June 29th
PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT PAYMENT & ENHANCED ILLNESS BENEFIT Please click the link below for updates to review on the payments awarded as part of the response to COVID-19, specifically around continued eligibility for the payments and rules around ending the payments, including:
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. Download Report
Future Safeguarding for Drogheda Businesses – A Special COVID-19 Briefing
Drogheda & District Chamber was delighted to facilitate this important webinar
in collaboration with the HSE Public Health North East team.
Update from the Department of Health
The public health advice is clear and consistent. The public should stay at home wherever possible but can access essential services, including to go to an essential retail outlet to get supplies for the essential upkeep and functioning of their homes. The overriding public health objective for essential retail outlets remains to keep footfall to the absolute minimum and to make use of home working as much as possible. Retail outlets that open should ensure that physical distancing and public health guidelines are rigorously implemented.
The Government Guidelines of 27th March provide guidance on keeping footfall to a minimum and on physical distancing measures as follows:
ensure adequate distancing between customers and shop assistants in line with public health guidelines;
only let people into the store in small groups and ensure spaces are not crowded;
manage queue control inside and outside the door to maintain necessary physical distance; and,
all Essential Retail Outlets are encouraged to provide online services where that is possible and appropriate to minimise footfall.
The NSAI has also published a guidance document for the retail sector that will be informative to members – the NSAI also operate a helpline to advise employers and operators on essential measures to implement workplace protection and improvement plans, see: https://www.nsai.ie/covid-19retailprotection/
Chambers Ireland Covid-19
Business Impacts Survey
To access the survey results report from this latest Chambers Ireland Covid-19 Business Impacts survey, conducted between the 24 and 28 April 2020, click here
To access the survey results report from the previous Chambers Ireland Covid-19 Business Impacts Survey from 9 April 2020, click here
To access the survey results report from the Chambers Ireland Covid-19 Business Impacts Survey from 24 March 2020, click here
Welcome to the Drogheda Chamber’s Member Spotlight Series.
Where we will feature one of our Members and their Business on our website and across our social media platforms Bi-Weekly.
Dave Kavanagh of Financial Companion
Why do you think most people don’t like talking about finances?
Well it's a non-tangible topic and a lot of people don't think finances are 'fun'.
People know if they need a plumber to fix their washing machine or a mechanic if something is wrong with their car but people generally don’t look for people to fix their finances because they don’t know that they have a problem until they look. 7 out of 8 people that I sit down with are paying too much for something or have something very very wrong with their finances but until they take the time to sit down and address it they don’t realise.
I was giving a talk to about 40 people at a hotel recently.
I asked the audience how many had life cover and the majority of people raised their hands .
I then asked the same people if they knew what company they were with, how much they were paying and what their policy covered and you know what, people just didn’t know and that's really common.
That the reason why 7/8 people I see are paying too much for things because they haven’t looked at it or looked into other options. But I get it, it's not an exciting topic per say and people don’t want to talk about things that are considered negative like serious illness cover or retirement. I always say if you get it sorted early it can be a real game changer in terms of saving yourself huge amounts of stress in the long term.Think of it like this.The odds of you wining the lotto are 10.7 million to 1 yet week after week every Wednesday and Saturday evening you will see people literally tripping over small children to get to the lotto machine because they think they can win. 10.7 million to one - I don’t fancy those odds but yet people think it could happen to them. Then on the flip side when I talk about serious illness cover and how 1 in 4 people will get one of the specified illnesses covered before the age of 65 people think "ah sure that will never happen to me".
What would you say has been your biggest achievement to date?
One of the things I'm most proud of is how I can help people take control of their finances and in turn their lives.
Finances affect every part of our lives so to be able to offer advice or save people money is something I'm very proud of.
A big moment for me professionally was when I was asked to do a financial advice slot for 2FM.
I had offered some financial advice to a listener on the air and it subsequently led to a regular 4 year financial slot which was incredible.
That led onto more work with Tv3 and numerous speaking engagements so getting recognised for your work is a great feeling.
What is the one thing that people might not know about your business?
It's something that I shout from the rooftops all the time but it's the fact that there is no cost or obligation for me to review your finances. It's a free service.
People always think that there is a catch but there’s not. I did a survey a while ago on mams.ie and asked why is it that people aren’t taking the time to review their finances and the overwhelming response was that people thought they wouldn’t be able to afford the fee.
So I suppose in my business, it's important to get the message out there that there is no cost and no obligation to the client.
This is because, if we identify that you are paying too much for something or don't have the most appropriate plan for your current circumstances, I am paid by the company that we place the new business through.
I call to people’s house or have a chat over the phone so it is really easy and confidential to take that first step on the road to having control over your finances rather than the other way around.
The second thing that came out of the survey is that people were embarrassed about their situation, or with the mess they perceive they made but I promise there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
It's all about helping people and getting you on the right track with zero judgement.
I was diagnosed with cancer a number of years ago, luckily i’m good and healthy now but there are so many people who come to me to talk about serious illness cover when its too late.
By that I mean when they have already been diagnosed with a serious illness. Things like serious illness cover need to be looked at before you think you need it so that it’s in place when or if the time comes.
Whats the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
I started in finance in 1980 and moved about a bit in other areas before coming back into the role in 1991.
One of my colleagues, a guy who was one of the top financial advisors said that he was going to give me three important pieces of advice. He said:
“See the people, See the people, See the people” .
You can sit at a desk all day and not meet anyone but for me I can best help people when I'm sitting in front of them or chatting over the phone.
That contact is so important especially when you’re discussing something as personal as finances.
Another is "A Candle loses nothing by lighting another Candle".
I am very involved with LouthChat on Twitter and love the community spirit and support people have for one another in the group.
For me there is nothing better than supporting small business owners to get their message out to the wider public.