The Echo - 30 July 2020

MANY business owners are now “battling to keep the show on the road”, as they grapple with concerns about cash-flow issues, incurring debt, and the impact of the pandemic on their organisations’ bottom line, according to a recent survey. The Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland carried out the survey, where they found that 61 per cent of respondents rate the potential impact of the pandemic on their businesses as “significant”. The economic blow that has been delivered by the pandemic has been keenly felt by many of the business leaders who took part in the survey, as 38 per cent foresee their primary businesses having cash-flow issues for the rest of the year. This is compounded by the fact that 32 per cent of respondents said their primary businesses have already experienced cash- flow issues in the second quarter of this year. Twenty-six per cent of business leaders said their organisations’ debt has increased as a result of Covid-19 – with the majority predicting that their debt levels will continue to increase. Maura Quinn, Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, said: “The impact of Covid-19 on Irish business and society has been sudden, significant and, indeed, transformative in many ways. “Many business leaders are battling to ‘keep the show on the road’ and are experiencing cash flow issues and taking on more debt. “The new Government’s imminent stimulus package must encompass further measures to help businesses survive in the short term and recover as best as they can.” The IoD research was conducted for its most recent quarterly Director Sentiment Monitor Survey, between Wednesday, July 1, and Tuesday, July 7, amongst its 3,000 members. The Institute’s members are CEOs and company directors, and the survey covered Q2 2020 – the period when Covid-19 and the Government’s lockdown measures took full effect. ADDITIONAL information has been requested in relation to plans for a €135m expansion to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, which have attracted three objections – including one from The Square Shopping Centre. As previously reported in The Echo , the plans were lodged by Hines, the co-owner of Liffey Valley, last April, seeking permission for a two- storey extension with two large anchor stores, other retail units and cafes and restaurants. Hines, which manages the centre for its German pension-fund owner, previously said the plan was for new “east and west malls” leading from the entrance to the public plaza. It said the proposed expansion was “in line with the vision for Liffey Valley to be the top retail and leisure destination in the country.” The retail extension would span almost 47,000sqm and the plan also includes an extra 900 car-parking spaces. Three third-party submissions have been lodged in relation to the plans, by The Square Shopping Centre, Liffey Administration Ltd, and the owners of the Palmerstown Shopping Centre, the Moriarty Group. The Square’s grounds for objection include their view that the development is “wholly unsuitable at the proposed location”, as they are concerned it will “entice customers away” from The Square and will have a “cannibalisation effect” on retailers trading in The Square and the “vitality” of the centre. They added that they view the extension as “unnecessary and unwarranted” and that it would “only serve to undermine the existing town centre of Tallaght and the proposed retail components of both Adamstown and Clonburris.” The Moriarty Group stated that they welcome development at the subject site “in principle”, but they claim that the applicant has failed to adhere to the council’s parking standards in their plans, and that the development would create “excessive car travel” and travel congestion in the locality. In their objection, Liffey Administration claims the proposed development represents a “piecemeal” approach to the development of Liffey Valley, and that the plans for the 900 additional car-parking spaces will promote “unsustainable car usage”. The local authority requested additional information from Hines on July 13, to include a visual illustration of the roadmap of the proposed development, details about road improvements and designs, and an assessment of the parking provision for the entire centre. The applicant has six months from the date of the council’s request in which to submit the required additional information. By Aideen O'Flaherty E business recruitment,motoring & property July 30, 2020 tel: 01 4685350 email: p Request formore info on €135m Liffey Valley expansion plans Local authority requires details about road improvements and car-parking provisions Many firms ‘battling’ to keep the show on the road VISION: Liffey Valley Shopping Centre