Commenting on news that applications are now open for the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, NI Chamber President Ian Henry said:
“The opening of the Job Retention scheme is an important milestone for businesses, providing many with the support they need to protect livelihoods as lockdown continues.
“The government deserves credit for the speed, scale and flexibility of its response to the challenges facing our business communities. The focus should now be on delivering this support to firms on the ground.
“Our recent research with BDO indicates that almost 80% of businesses here plan to furlough some or all of their employees. Furthermore, 1 in 10 have no cash reserves and a further 6 in 10 have less than 3 months cash reserves. Therefore with April’s payday approaching, it is essential that the application process is smooth and that payments are made as soon as possible. Any delay would exacerbate the cash crisis many companies are facing and could threaten jobs and businesses.”