Athlone-based Senator Gabrielle McFadden has called for some assistance for hard pressed small businesses who lost out as a result of the recent snowy weather.
The Senator has written to the Taoiseach and to the Minister for Finance to outline her concerns and to ask them to explore possible ways of providing them with some relief.
“Many businesses, especially small ones, had to close or had severely reduced footfall. Despite having no income they still had to pay for rates, insurance and wages and in some cases for repairs. In total, the cost of three or four days of lost trade could run into tens, if not hundreds of millions,” Senator McFadden said.
The recent cold snap saw temperatures in Athlone plunge to -6 degrees, and forced most of the town’s businesses to shut their doors.
“I am not particularly worried about the large nationals and multinationals, but I am concerned that for small and family businesses that the loss of a weekend’s trading could be a severe blow, coming on the back of revaluation of rates and of the disruption of storm Ophelia only a number of months ago,” Senator McFadden continued.
“I think that the decision to give an extra payment to those in receipt of fuel allowance was the correct one. And I also believe that a decision to support family businesses would be equally justified.”