Paul Cogan, President of Cork Chamber, and Mags Brennan, Head of business banking at Permanent TSB, launching the Cork Chamber Q2 2021 Economic Trends survey. Photo: Darragh Kane

Report: Q2 remains stable for business

Covid-19 remains the number one business threat, a new survey from Cork Chamber has reported.

The latest Cork Chamber Economic Trends Survey reports on business experiences, the overall operating landscape, and the business priorities ahead of Budget 2022.

Cork Chamber President, Paula Cogan, commenting on the latest results said that Q2 represented a relatively stable period for business, with growing anticipation of wider re-openings, and considerable progress in the delivery and uptake of vaccines.

She said: “While we are again facing an uncertain period especially for our colleagues in the hospitality sector, there has been a tangible pragmatism and inventiveness shown by the Cork business community throughout. Q2 saw a period of enthusiasm and re-energising across the city with outdoor canopies being erected, streets coming to life, and the hustle and bustle of a vibrant city reawakening.

“Our latest trends survey saw a marked increase in business confidence, with 90 per cent of respondents reporting as confident, an increase on the previous 84 per cent and a very positive ascent on the 73 per cent for the same period last year.”

Ms Cogan added: “Without question, we’re at a pivotal point in our economic recovery, and it is absolutely crucial that the Government support businesses with practical information on the next steps, and the path ahead. We must protect our progress to date, and while certainty is difficult, timely communication, engagement and a clear plan with vaccine milestones is key in this support.”

Ms Cogan also said that the latest findings reflect an increase in turnover for 44 per cent of respondents in Q2, with 65 per cent of respondents expecting an increase in turnover during the third quarter. This is a healthy improvement on the previous quarter, she said, where 27 per cent of respondents reported an increase in turnover. While a challenging period, it is encouraging to see the green shoots emerge.

“In our latest survey we also asked businesses their expectations in relation to employment. We report that 54 per cent of respondents expect an increase in employee numbers in the 12 months ahead, in likely anticipation of wider reopenings and based on accelerated progress with the vaccine roll out,” she said.

She continued: “While we acknowledge the lifelines provided through Government to date, businesses again highlight Covid-19 as the number one threat to business growth in the latest survey findings. More clarity is now needed as revisions on the dates for winding down of financial support will be required.

In the latest survey, Cork Chamber also asked businesses their priorities for the forthcoming Budget 2022. Topping the list of priorities is infrastructural investment and housing stimulus which Ms Cogan said was a clear signal from the business community that there must be an investment in infrastructural and social infrastructure to meet the opportunity and potential for Cork.

The full report can be read at