High Street in Kilkenny
Economic recovery post-coronavirus will depend on us all doing our part, is the message from Kilkenny business and community leaders.
“Local businesses really went above and beyond in order to protect all of us. It is now our job to protect them by shopping local,” said Kilkenny County Council Chairman, Andrew McGuinness.
As more Kilkenny businesses reopened with Phase 3 of the country’s reopening plan, he wished local businesses every success in safely reopening and welcoming us all back through their doors.
The County Council Chairman said: “It’s been a tough time for everyone and there is no doubt that this lockdown has taken its toll on all of us, financially and mentally. Not only have we greatly missed the everyday things that we may have taken for granted, but we also missed that human interaction from going to shops, cafes and restaurants and meeting people.
“I have visited many premises in town and I have to say I was hugely impressed with the safety measures they have all taken from perspex screens, gloves and sanitiser and queue management outside their doors.”
Shopping local is more important now than ever. “By shopping local, not only do we protect our local businesses, we also protect the jobs they create,” Cllr McGuinness said.
New President of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce Colin Ahern echoed the call: “We all have a part to play in enabling that recovery to happen and if I can assist through my role as President of Kilkenny Chamber, I certainly will.”
Mr Ahern, general manager of the Ormonde Hotel, has extensive experience in the hospitality sector, an industry which he said has been “decimated recently by the Covid-19 pandemic and it is going to be a long and very difficult road to recovery.”
Another leader of the hospitality industry in Kilkenny city is Pat Crotty, of Irish Pub of the Year winner, Paris Texas. After a closure of three months, Pat was looking forward to welcoming back customers this week. He was happy to report that Paris Texas had seen strong bookings as locals were eager to return to their favourite restaurants, and bars serving food.
Cllr McGuinness also reminded people to take account of new measures in businesses and public spaces. “It is up to each one of us to take personal responsibility for our own actions and ensure we maintain good hand hygiene, social distance and respect others when entering shops and walking our narrow streets. Everyone has done such a good job to this point so let’s continue like that until we see the back of this virus.”