Chamber News

Following the publication of today’s (2nd April 2020) live register figures by the CSO, Chambers Ireland calls on Government to ensure that post-crisis, the supports are there to ensure business can re-open.

Speaking today, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “Today’s CSO figures illustrate just how much damage has been done to businesses and to livelihoods right across the country. A surge of 24,400 new applicants for jobseekers’ allowances in the space of one month is remarkable in itself. Viewed alongside the figure of 283,037 persons receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the 25,104 benefiting from the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme, assessing how deep the damage will be to the economy is difficult to gauge at this stage.

To see the progress made in job creation since the economic crash over a decade ago, wiped out in little under a month, is truly alarming.

The results of our national Network survey last week have shown some indication of what might come to pass in the weeks and months ahead, where 94% of businesses see their revenue declining over the coming three months, 73% of businesses expect their revenue to decline by in excess of 25%. We can only assume that the associated economic down-turn will contribute to further job-losses.

There are of course some positives to note, due largely to Government intervention over the past week, such as the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, which retains employees on payroll. Supporting that link between employer and employee throughout the crisis will be instrumental when the health threat abates and economic activity starts to return.”

Also speaking today, Chambers Ireland President and Director of Noel Recruitment, Siobhan Kinsella, spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the workplace.

“While today’s figures show one part of the economy, where thousands of people have found themselves temporarily unemployed, this is only one part of the story. The world of work in many industries continues but has changed utterly.

We’ve long talked of digital transformation and the future of work. COVID-19 has triggered a digital transformation, which in ordinary circumstances would takes years, in a matter of days. Entire organisations have moved to remote models, with employees, managers and directors responding to the crisis and running businesses from their own homes. In fact, the Chambers we represent right across the island are doing just this and responding to the needs of their members remotely and digitally.

Amid this economic crisis, there are opportunities to innovate and to reimagine our ways of work. Life-long learning, a priority of Chambers Ireland, is even more important now. Many training organisations, such as Solas and Skillnet, have responded and evolved their offering because of the crisis.

If we had one message to the workforce, it would be to engage in training and look at ways to upskill. Anything we can do to build on existing skills will, once this crisis passes, support future resilience and productivity. This message of course includes those in work and those temporarily out of work.”

Webinar Agenda - Week Commencing 30th March 

Each Webinar is €15pp or €60 for a bundle of 5.

To register or to arrange this Webinar to run internally for you, your business managers and leaders, please contact Audrey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

skillnet

Role of a Manager – Monday, 30th March from 9.30am-12.30pm

  • What do you need to Be, Do and Know
  • Supervisor/Leader/Manager
  • What kind of Leader are You?
  • Flexing between Roles

 skillnet

Performance Management – Monday 30th March from 1.30pm-4.30pm

  • Identifying Performance Strengths and Weakness
  • Day to Day Performance management
  • Feedback
  • Identifying Underperformance
  • Development Planning
  • Dealing with Failure to Improve

skillnet

Change Management – Tuesday, 31st March from 9.30am-12.30pm

  • Models of Change
  • Identifying Responses to Change
  • Staff Needs of Times of Change
  • How to Make it Stick

skillnet

Team Development – Tuesday, 31st March form 1.30pm-4.30pm

  • Stages of Teams
  • Team Types
  • Effective Teams and How to Fill the Gaps

skillnet

Cash Management in a Crisis – Friday, 3rd April from 12.30pm

  • Having the right processes and procedures to keep ‘cash flowing’ within your organisation
  • How to Effectively Manage your Credit Risks
  • How to Successfully Recover a bad debt
  • Options and resources available to you

FREE Live Webinar - Leadership in Crisis: CV & Career Planning, Working from Home & Resilience

Date: Friday, 27th March

Time: 10:00am-11:00am

As part of SureSkills Effective Management and Working from Home Series, we have another complimentary webinar on Leadership in Crisis, CV & Career Planning, Working from Home & Resilience.

These are unprecedented times, for many, the possibility of self-isolation, social distancing and working from home for the next few weeks/months is becoming a daunting reality. Indeed, working from home is a new concept for many teams and their managers.

Waterford Chamber Skillnet and SureSkills can assist in helping you and your team transition and cope with this new reality.

Webinar Agenda

  • Leadership in Crisis
  • CV and Career Planning with SureSkills Resource Placement
  • Resilience and Working from Home tips
  • Q&A

Who Should Attend?

This webinar is aimed at those who have been impacted by COVID-19 and the effects it is having on the workforce and landscape as we know it.

Register here

If you would like to arrange this Webinar to run internally for you, your business managers and leaders, please contact Audrey @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

WC Skillnet Business Strategy Free Webinar

Date: Thursday, 26th March
Time: 9.30am-11.00am
Cost: Free of charge

This live Webinar will assist SMEs to review business continuity plans and emergency activation plans in the face of changing business landscapes. The aim of this webinar is to help business owners and managers to mitigate the impact this situation will have on critical business functions, products and services. What you do now will make the difference. 

This 90-minute webinar will offer business owners valuable ways and means on how their business can survive in the coming weeks and months.

Topics Include:

  1. Short-term finance options
  2. Adjusting your current business plan to revise profit margins
  3. Appraising your company expenditure
  4. Negotiating your payables
  5. Identifying alternative streams of revenue in the short-term
  6. Crafting a communication plan with Stakeholders
  7. Diversifying your asset portfolio
  8. Tips on personal wellbeing during a crisis

This Webinar will be delivered by Monere Development Services.

If you would like to arrange this Webinar to run internally for you, your business managers and leaders, please contact Audrey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Wordcloud Government action needed CIChambers Ireland and our nationwide network of chambers has today (24th March 2020) published the results of a survey of its members, which seeks to quantify and highlight the impacts of COVID-19 on business in towns, cities and regions right across the country.

Our survey which has over 1,000 responses (1,110) was conducted between the afternoon of the 19th March and the morning of 23rd March 2020

Today’s results will inform the advocacy of Chambers Ireland and affiliated chambers, on behalf of businesses throughout the country and provide guidance to the Government on next steps required to support business through the crisis.

The headline results are:

  • 94% of businesses see their revenue declining over the coming three months
  • 73% of businesses expect their revenue to decline by in excess of 25%
  • Cashflow, Revenue, and Staffing are the critical issues for businesses
  • Cashflow and Revenue are of greatest concern to Sole Traders, and Micro-businesses (<10 employees) [This sector accounts for in excess of 92% of businesses, and 69% of jobs in the workforce[1]]
  • Temporary closures only impacting a minority of businesses (Hospitality in particular) but deeply affects these sectors.
  • Staffing is of concern to certain sectors, particularly Digital, Agrifood, Transport, and Retail.
  • No part of the country feels unaffected, though the midlands are slightly more concerned about staffing problems.

Speaking today, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “The results of our network survey show us that the impact of COVID-19 on the business community in Ireland, the vast majority of whom are SMEs, has been severely felt, with more than 90% experiencing reduced cash-flow and reduced revenue.

As we publish these results, we are expecting further announcements from Government of tighter restrictions on how people move around and interact with each other. This will further impact the business community. Sentiment in the business community can only be expected to decline in the days and weeks to come.

A significant response by the State to support businesses and local economies right across the island is required. This must be far-reaching and unlike any intervention we’ve seen before. These are unprecedented times and therefore need an unprecedented response.

Government must give businesses and the self-employed a lifeline immediately, and when the coronavirus threat passes ensure that the businesses community is supported through further state interventions. Employers’ are job creator, without whom we would not have an economy and would not be able to support the economic well-being of citizens. For jobs to be restored following the crisis, our members will need as much support as possible to re-boot the economy.

Under-reacting to this crisis is now the greatest risk. This crisis will pass, our economy will recover, but we cannot afford a chaotic recovery.

Government measures to date have the approval of almost 70% of the business community despite the huge costs borne by them. But Government must become more responsive in a number of key areas.

Deferrals and moratoriums on VAT, commercial rates and other changes must last for the duration of the crisis at a minimum. The business sector also requires greater clarity on insurance. We call on Government to work with the insurance sector in providing solutions for the business community.

The pace at which Government departments and agencies are operating at to respond to the crisis is applauded but it is important to ensure that the detail of schemes announced is carefully considered and communicated. When this does not happen, it adds to the confusion and uncertainty facing our local economies.

Finally, as is highlighted in the results of our Network survey, cash-flow will be critical to surviving the crisis. We reiterate our call to all Government Departments, agencies, Local Authorities, State and Semi-State bodies to pay invoices at the earliest opportunity. Government must take the lead on this and make a clear statement on the urgent necessity that all State bodies settle all outstanding bills promptly.

As a Network, we stand ready to work with the State to meet the challenge of this crisis and support the business community through it."

[1] https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-bii/bii2015/sme/

 

Sustainable Business Impact Awards 2020On 12th March 2020, Chambers Ireland opened applications for the Sustainable Business Impact Awards, the renamed Corporate Social Responsibility Awards, which celebrates the achievements of the business community in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Despite the ongoing uncertainty from the COVID-19 outbreak, Chambers Ireland encourages the business community to share their excellent work in CSR by applying for these Awards.

The Awards recognise the meaningful and high quality-work from companies through different Awards categories, including Environment, Community Partnership (divided into Charity, Volunteering and Community Programme), Workplace, Marketplace, CSR Communication, CSR by an SME and Diversity & Inclusion.

Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland, spoke at the opening of the renamed Awards, “We have been running the Corporate Social Responsibility Awards for over sixteen years. In that time, we have seen many great companies with different projects receive recognition at this event. These projects have benefited the environment, communities, staff, charities and people both in Ireland and abroad.

Last year, Chambers Ireland decided to take leadership in aligning the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with our organisation strategy. To continue the process of alignment with the SDGs, from 2020 the Corporate Social Responsibility awards will be known as the Sustainable Business Impact Awards.

While the Awards categories and entry criteria will remain unchanged, we believe the new description will greatly improve our ability to evolve this concept further into the future, building on the success of all the work of previous winning and applicant companies.”

Theo Cullinane, BAM Ireland Chief Executive said, “We have been a long-time sponsor of the CSR Awards and are proud to continue this partnership as the awards take this evolutionary step in becoming the Sustainable Business Impact Awards.

We fully endorse that this enhancement is driven by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. BAM adopted a new sustainability strategy in 2016, driven by these global sustainability targets. As a result, we have set ourselves the target of having a Net Positive Impact on Climate Change, Resources and People by 2050, and are proud of our prestigious “A” rating on the global Carbon Disclosure Project. With the Sustainable Business Impact Awards championing the SDGs, we look forward to seeing the innovative initiatives that Irish businesses have implemented for a sustainable future.”

The awards are sponsored by BAM Ireland and run in association with the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Applications for the Awards are now open online at www.sustainablebusinessimpactawards.ie

*The closing date for applications is Thursday, 9th of April 2020.*

Live Webinar - Managing Remote Teams

Date: Tuesday, 24th March
Time: 2.45pm
Cost: Free of charge

Now more than ever the need for teams to operate remotely has become a key capability requirement for companies and organisations.
Miscommunication and misalignment can cost time and money. Therefore, to function effectively these remote teams need to operate in cohesive ways to ensure organisational goals and objectives are met.
This 90-minute webinar will give managers and leaders an insight into how to create and maintain high-performing remotely organised teams.
Topics include:

  1. Fundamental systems needed to establish an efficient remote workforce.
  2. Identifying the critical success factors for leading and managing remote teams.
  3. Implementing an effective and regular communication process. 
  4. Dealing with interpersonal issues including conflict resolution.
  5. Measuring productivity and implementing a strategy to ensure goals and initiatives are still achieved. 
  6. Top tips on keeping the team close when miles apart. 

This course is delivered online so all you need is a laptop and good internet access (earphones if necessary).

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book your space.

This live Webinar will assist SMEs to review business continuity plans and emergency activation plans in the face of the changing business landscape.

The aim of this webinar is to help business owners and managers to mitigate the impact this situation will have on critical business functions,products, and services. What you do now will make all the difference. This 90-minute webinar will offer business owners valuable ways and means on how their business can survive in the coming weeks and months.

Topics Include:

  1. Short-term finance options
  2. Adjusting your current business plan to revise profit margins
  3. Appraising your company expenditure
  4. Negotiating your payables
  5. Identifying alternative streams of revenue in the short term
  6. Crafting a communication plan with stakeholders
  7. Diversifying your asset portfolio
  8. Tips on personal wellbeing during a crisis

This webinar will be delivered by Monere Development Services.

If you would like to arrange this webinar to run internally for you, your business managers and leaders please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Earlier this week, Chambers Ireland and our nationwide network of chambers called on Government and all State bodies to be flexible and responsive to the needs of their business and economic partners, so that we may ensure business continuity through this crisis.

In particular, we called on Government to ensure that businesses that are in sectors which have had to close entirely are not charged rates for the duration of these closures. As this may create a funding issues for our Local Authorities throughout the country, we also called on central Government to step in to support our local government by bridging the resulting gap in expected Rates returns.

Today’s announcement (20 March 2020) by the Government, offers some relief to businesses who have had to close in recent days but as this crisis evolves, an extension of this deferral will be required.

Speaking today, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “The extent of the crisis we are facing is still uncertain. Businesses that closed over the weekend and since then, have no idea when normal trading conditions might resume. Recovering from this shock will be an enormous task and every assistance possible must be made.

Because of this, Government must commit to extending the Rates relief to correspond with the duration of the crisis. Government must also ensure that sufficient monies are made available to local authorities, as and when needed, so that essential local services can continue to be funded.

It is crucial that this announcement is implemented and communicated consistently and equitably across all local authorities and that there is a clear understanding amongst local officials as to how it will be applied. There must be a level playing field for all businesses across the country.

It is essential that all sectors that have been adversely impacted benefit from this deferral and will continue to benefit from flexible, sincere engagement from state officials.

As cash-flow will be critical to surviving the crisis, we reiterate our call to all Government Departments, agencies, Local Authorities, State and Semi-State bodies to pay invoices at the earliest opportunity. Government must take the lead on this and make a clear statement on the urgent necessity that all State bodies settle all outstanding bills promptly.”

 

Chambers Ireland and our network are acutely aware of the immediate impact that the Covid-19 crisis is having on businesses across the country, as well as our employees and communities. Chambers Ireland, along with your local Chamber, remain fully dedicated to supporting our business community and we will continue to work closely with regional and national stakeholders on behalf of businesses across the country.

Through this survey, we are asking for your direct feedback on how Covid-19 is impacting on your business – and wish to hear any suggestions on actions that you believe can be taken on both a national level and local level to help you navigate this difficult period.

We also wish to remind everyone to only follow official sources of information and to avail of the various supports and structures being put in place to help navigate each challenge relating to Covid-19 as they happen.

Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HMG8JM9

WCSkillnetLogo2018

Waterford Chamber Skillnet is working with Waterford Chamber and you our customers to ensure you have the essential training you need, when you need it.

We are teaming up with our top class trainers to provide you with essential training webinars to keep your teams and businesses running as smoothly as possible during this time of change.

Join our digital training classroom and train online. We have teamed up with Sure Skills to offer the following modules which can be taken individually or as a bundle.

Effective Management & Working from Home “Series” starting week commencing 23rd March! – registrations are only being taken by website or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

– Each module is delivered remotely (Live Online)

– Each module is 3 hours in duration (9:30 – 12:30) or (1:30 – 4:30)

- Contact us to organise these for your teams only

N.B. Modules will run on a demand led basis. Please nominate your time preference

Take 1 module for €65 or 5 modules €250.

Module 1. Motivating Staff

How do We Motivate Others Remotely?

Motivation Model

The Three Elements of Intrinsic Motivation

Self-Motivation

2. Leadership in a Crisis

The 5 Pitfalls of leading teams in a crisis situation

The building blocks of Crisis Management

Taking back Control

Communication Flow for Sound Leadership

Leadership Styles and Crises

3. Role of Manager

What do you need to Be, Do and Know

Supervisor/Leader/Manager

What kind of Leader are You?

Flexing between Roles

4. Performance Management

Identifying Performance Strengths and Weakness

Day to Day Performance management

Feedback

Identifying Under performance

Development Planning

Dealing with Failure to Improve

5. Change Management

Models of Change

Identifying Responses to Change

Staff Needs of Times of Change

How to Make it Stick

6. Team Development

Stages of Teams

Team Types

Effective Teams and How to Fill the Gaps

7. Managing Self

Emotional Intelligence in Difficult Circumstances

Time Management

Delivery of Results

Professionalism and Accountability

 

What We Do For Our Members

 

networking

 

 

business services

 

 

events

 

 

promotion

 

 

graph

 

 

influence

 

 

 

What Our Members Say

"Both Waterford Chamber and Bausch + Lomb understand the importance of leadership for the achievement of business success. Working with Waterford Chamber on the Regional Leaders Programme demonstrates just how effective it can be to come together and work collaboratively. The Regional Leaders Programme provides an opportunity to share our talents and expertise with the motivation to really ‘make things happen’."

Jackie Roche, Learning + Organisational Development Manager, Bausch + Lomb

 

 

 

We Can Help!

Call us to find out how Waterford Chamber can help you with your business and training needs today.

 

 

 

 

 contact us button