The third economic trends survey of 2020 captured the sentiment of the Cork business community as we transitioned from the initial shock waves of the Covid-19 pandemic to a considerably altered business operating landscape across the region and country. In our latest economic trends we report on business experiences during July, August and September, and the outlook for the fourth and final quarter of 2020. We also report on the changes made to work practices as a result of Covid-19, the return to offices, and connectivity across the county to fibre broadband.
"Businesses across the county have been under immeasurable stress since the onset of the pandemic. While navigating what is completely uncharted territory, the latest trends reflect the growing concern of the business community as they seek-out a degree of certainty" Paula Cogan, President Cork Chamber.
CHANGES TO BUSINESS PRACTICE AND OPERATIONAL FACTORS
"Undoubtedly the Covid-19 pandemic has initiated dramatic changes to how we work,with 21% of responding businesses reporting >90% of employees are now working from home. When asked on the expected return date to the office, and taking account that survey responses were gathered over the last two weeks of September and before the current public health guidance advise, 19% reported that employees were at that stage returning to the office with more returning in the coming 2-3 months, however 18% expected this return from January 2021 onwards."
Paula Cogan, President, Cork Chamber
The latest survey reports a downturn in the percentage of businesses reporting confidence to 68%, from 73% in Q2 2020.
For context, business confidence had been at 93% at the close of 2019.
In Q3 36% of businesses reported a decrease to employee numbers
There has been a decrease to 22% in businesses expecting to reduce employee numbers in the 12 months ahead, from 33% in Q2. We report an increase in businesses reporting open vacancies to 32%, from 17% in Q2.
Our thanks to everyone taking the time to complete this survey. Your feedback helps us build a more resilient economy for Cork. The winner of our Q2 participants prize is Ciara Crossan, CEO, Wedding Dates who will receive a €150 Cork Chamber giftcard.