Chamber says Taskforce urgently needed to support Limerick Summer Reopening

Clock ticking to Limerick retail reopening in May, followed by countywide outdoor dining and pubs reopening on June 7th. 

30/04/21: Limerick Chamber says that urgent focus and stakeholder engagement through a local authority led taskforce is necessary to facilitate a successful and sustainable reopening of retail and hospitality sector businesses in Limerick next month. 

Responding to the Government announcement on further easing of restrictions, Limerick Chamber President, Hotelier Donnacha Hurley said “successful coordination of efforts is required in the next few critical weeks to support business to reopen and drive footfall to our city.’   

The Absolute Hotel General Manager said that a grouping should be put together urgently to ensure clear communications between the sector stakeholders and Limerick City and County Council who are responsible for the distribution of funding and the granting of planning applications to facilitate outdoor trade.   

‘It is imperative that we fast-track measures to ensure expedited operational delivery and respond quickly and effectively to obstacles that business owners are meeting.’ 

‘While the grants and supports already announced are welcome, feedback from within the retail and hospitality sector is that application processes are slow and timelines for assessment of properties for suitability for parklets or buildouts or temporary weatherproofing to facilitate outdoor dining are too long.’ 

‘Businesses in Limerick will be delighted to have a date to work towards now and as a community want to ensure that Limerick is ready to maximise commercial opportunities in the short summer window.  I am aware that much work has been done on promoting the city as a staycation destination and that funding has been made available from national government for outdoor animation projects.  We now need to see the detail of those projects to give businesses a greater understanding of what they can hook their individual marketing efforts on.” 

Continuing the Chamber President said ‘We have clearly been told by Government to plan for an outdoor summer, so every effort needs to be made to ensure that Limerick is as clean, attractive and vibrant as possible.  Stakeholders are raising concerns around a need for toilet facilities, provision of extra bins and temporary widening of footpaths in the most popular spots around the river walks.  We need to know what specific animation will be funded – will there be buskers in designated spots, what family friendly attractions are being developed to support driving footfall to the city?’ 

‘Limerick Chamber believes a re-opening specific taskforce with key sectoral stakeholders, senior Council Executives and elected representatives should be convened with the remit to rapidly resolve blockages being encountered by business owners and effectively communicate the detail of promotions and animations being planned. 

I have written today to the Chief Executive of the Local Authority and the Mayor of Limerick to call for such a grouping to be formed as a matter of urgency.  It is vital that we work closely together to support workers in this sector and to put in place a safe and sustainable reopening of Limerick.  Working together we must prioritise projects that support dwell time, inclusive urban spaces, pedestrianisation and the evening economy. Without this kind of urgent focus , we risk exacerbating the impact of the pandemic for the Limerick workers and businesses in these sectors.’ 


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