Welcome to this week's issue of Dublin Chamber Weekly. As always on the third week of the month, this issue has a special focus on the work of the Chamber's Enterprise Europe Network.
Of course, the issue also includes updates on the webinars we have coming up for you next week, an update on the Government's new Restart Grant for small firms, a recap of what's been happening over the past 7 days, plus your usual helping of member news.
We hope you enjoy the issue. Please note that next Thursday's issue will be a member news special, so please do send any news, offers or announcements to us and we'll feature as many as we can.
3 Great Chamber Webinars Coming Up Next Week
We're delighted to announce details of three not-to-be-missed webinars coming up next week.
First up, join us on Monday morning at 10am for our regular Wellness Webinar where we will be joined by David Gillick, one of Ireland's most successful ever athletes. David will chat about his career on the running track, hanging up the spikes and the impact that had on his mental health. BOOK NOW
The focus switches to online trading advice on Tuesday at 12 noon when we welcome an expert panel for our Selling Online Made Easy session. Among the speakers will be Marion O'Gorman, CEO of the Kilkenny Group. This session is being run by the Chamber's European Enterprise Network office. BOOK NOW.
Then on Wednesday at 12 noon we will welcome Declan Hughes, Assistant Secretary General in the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation for a special session focusing on what lies ahead for business, entrepreneurs and SMEs following Covid-19. BOOK NOW.
€500bn Fund Announced to Boost the European Economy
Photograph: Andreas Gora/EPA
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have announced they are backing the creation of an EU bond to raise €500 billion to boost the European economy, as a result of the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund is intended to supplement the European budget by providing support to the sectors and European regions most severely affected by Covid-19 without further impairing their economic situation by increasing their debt.
The €500 billion recovery fund proposed would see the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, raise money on the markets under the EU’s name. It would come on top of the bloc's next budget — the Multiannual Financial Framework — and the €540 billion of loans already announced by the Eurogroup. The fund will then be given as grants, not loans, and repayment will be the financial responsibility of the entire bloc through the joint European budget, which is financed by a set formula by member states. This represents the first genuine creation of long-term EU fiscal debt.
It is envisaged that this will not only help the worst-hit member states recover in the short-term, but will also enhance the resilience, convergence, and competitiveness of the European economies.
The recovery programme will be based on a four-pillar model for reconstruction:
1. Health Protection: The fund aims to reinforce the EU’s strategic sovereignty in the health sector, through a boost in European research and development capacity in the field of vaccines and treatment methods, as well as the creation of common stocks of medicine and medical devices. The plan also foresees the bloc coordinating the creation of an EU “Health Taskforce” to develop national prevention and response plans against future epidemics, and the harmonisation in how health data is harvested and used.
2. Economic Recovery: The programme states that open markets, along with free and fair trade are crucial parts of the solution to the pandemic. This is to be achieved through the diversification of supplies chains in the EU, adapting the EU's industrial strategy and modernising the EU's competition policy.
3. Ecological and Digital Transition: The third pillar seeks to boost the modernisation of the European economy and its business models, particularly emphasising environmental and digital targets. Both leaders stressed the need to create conditionalities in the areas of climate, biodiversity and environment, underlining the commitment to the EU Green Deal announced earlier this year. These include increasing EU targets for reducing emissions in 2030, with the goal of climate neutrality by 2050, and implementing climate conditions on state aid. The plan also calls for accelerating the 5G roll-out.
4. Industrial Sovereignty: Additionally, the model provides for a strengthening of European sovereignty which is intended to reduce European dependence on
external supply chains and better protect European companies through efforts to diversify supply chains and promoting an ambitious and balanced free trade agenda with the World Trade Organisation at its core.
Yet the plan is still only a foundation. A final deal will need the backing of all 27 members, some of which have flatly rejected collective indebtedness in the past. Austria has already suggested that it and countries like the Netherlands want to help the most afflicted EU member states only with loans, not grants. If the plan goes through, the agreement could relieve some of the pressure on the European Central Bank, which has so far taken the lead in the EU-level response, pledging to buy more than a trillion euros of debt to stabilize markets. The Franco-German initiative also comes ahead of the EU Commission's own proposal - which is expected to be announced next week (27 May).
What does this mean for Ireland?
The approach that the recovery fund would be based on grants and not loans is supported by Ireland, Italy and Spain, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar describing the plan as a “financial diuretic” that is good news for Europe and Ireland too. While it is yet to be seen exactly how much Ireland might benefit from the recovery fund plan – if it passes through the European Council – we will be set to repay a higher amount than states that have been more severely affected as we transition to a net contributor of the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework.
Article by: Michaela Reilly - Policy and Research Executive at Chambers Ireland
EU Publishes Framework to Reboot Tourism in Europe
Last Wednesday (13th May) the European Commission published guidance on the safe resumption of travel and tourism for travellers and companies. The Commission sets out a common framework providing criteria to safely and gradually restore tourism activities. It also covers the development of health protocols for hotels and other forms of accommodation, to protect the health of both guests and employees.
Webinar: The Covid-19 Impact on Hong Kong & Asia Explained
These criteria include epidemiological evidence; sufficient health system capacity being in place for local people and tourists; robust surveillance and monitoring and testing capacity and contact tracing. These guidelines will allow people to safely stay at hotels, camping sites, Bed&Breakfasts or other holiday accommodation establishments, eat and drink at restaurants, bars and cafés and go to beaches and other leisure outdoor areas.
Read the full guidance here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_854
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) London Office are running a webinar next week (27th May at 2.30pm) which will offer the latest updates and detail the current business opportunities in Hong Kong. Speakers on the webinar will include Sir Douglas Flint from Standard Life Aberdeen and Nicholas Kwan from HKTDC. Book Now.
Public Consultation: Help Shape the EU's New Climate Strategy
As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission plans to put forward a new Climate Adaptation Strategy in early 2021. A public consultation has been opened to help capture ideas and shape the new strategy, which will build on the current strategy adopted in 2013. Stakeholders and the public are invited to share their views before the 20th of August 2020.
Chamber's McQueen Discusses Dublin's Transport Future
Having your say in this consultation and providing feedback is essential because all sectors and all countries will be affected. Impacts range from unprecedented forest fires and heatwaves above the Arctic Circle to increasingly devastating droughts in the Mediterranean region; and from accelerating coastal erosion on the Atlantic coast to more severe flooding and decimated forests.
Give your feedback here: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12381-EU-Strategy-on-Adaptation-to-Climate-Change/public-consultation
The need for MetroLink and underground rail lines, a better bus service and big investment in safer cycling and walking infrastructure were all top of the agenda when Dublin Chamber's Graeme McQueen sat down with presenter Aidan Power recently - atop one of Dublin Bus' new green hybrid buses - for the latest episode of Emovis' excellent Going Places series. The episode also touches on why the delivery of public transport improvements is so important for the city's businesses and workers - and key to improving quality of life for Dubliners. You can watch the episode, which lasts just over 20 minutes, by clicking here.
Restart Grant Details to be Confirmed Tomorrow
The Restart Grant for Small Business, which aims to provide essential capital to help businesses get back up and running, will open for applications tomorrow (22nd of May). Eligible businesses will be able to receive up to €10,000, and a minimum of €2,000, based on their Commercial Rates bill from 2019.
While Dublin Chamber welcomed the details of the Restart Grant, we urged Minister Heather Humphreys to double the turnover limit of companies eligible for the grant from €5 million to €10 million. The view of the Chamber is that all small firms impacted by the crisis should be eligible to apply for the Restart Grant and we will continue to lobby Government on this important message. You can find more details on what's been announced thus far about the Restart Grant here.
We will update you over the coming days about the finer details of the scheme and how to apply. Please feel free to contact us if you have feedback on the scheme or any of the other Government Covid-19 supports.
Missed a Webinar? Catch Up on This Week's Sessions
If you have missed one of our latest webinars, don't fret, we have links to all of them below!
Last Friday saw the always-engaging Sonya Lennon speak on our Small Business Network webinar. You can watch the full session here.
This week kicked off in fine style with Anna Geary, the qualified performance and wellbeing coach, personal trainer and former All-Ireland winning Camogie Captain, joining us for our Monday Wellness Webinar. Watch it back here.
Andrew McDowell, the Vice President of the European Investment Bank was with us on Tuesday for an engaging discussion on Financing Ireland's Future. You can watch it back here.
Meyer to Share His Story
Danny Meyer has built one of the most successful and respected restaurant groups in the world. You have a unique opportunity to get the inside track on his success when he takes part in the U.S Embassy Dublin's virtual Creative Minds webinar this coming Wednesday at 7:30pm. Meyer will take part in a moderated discussion about the state of the food service industry. You can tune in to the event here.
Chamber Consular Dept Open
We can still process your documents
Our Export and Consular Services department remains open for business and is accepting documents for certification and/or legalisation. Our EssCert platform for electronically stamping certificates of origin and other export or commercial documents can help minimise contact and encourage social distancing while still having your documents processed in a time effective and efficient manner. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remote Summer Interns Available
Could your business benefit from a US intern this summer? A number of tech savvy US interns are available via CAPA's remote global internship programme for a period of six weeks. The interns can help you on areas such as marketing, finance, research, analytics and more. Internships are unpaid as students will receive academic credit. Find out more here.
Do You Do Business In The UK?
If you trade or have operations in the UK, the Department of International Trade would appreciate your answers to this short survey. The results will help shape future policy and will be fed back to the UK government. Answer the survey here.
Virtual Cardio Challenge
Get your team involved with the Spartan corporate virtual challenge on Friday 22nd May. Complete 5km of cardio, crush 20km of obstacles and win some prizes. Sign up here.
PayPal QR Code Launch
Selling online just got a lot easier with Paypal's new app that allows customers to buy and sell using QR codes. The app is available in 28 markets around the globe and could be just the solution to help small firms start trading online.
PayPal rolls out QR Code payments in Ireland
for a Touch Free way to buy and sell in-person
New In-App Feature Enables In-Person Payments in an era of Social Distancing
PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) has rolled out the ability to use QR Codes to buy and sell goods in Ireland and 27 other markets around the globe. From local takeaway coffee shops to selling secondhand goods - the rollout of the QR code functionality in the PayPal app allows customers to buy or sell in in-person, safely and securely, and touch free.
“We know that in the current environment, buying and selling goods in a health-conscious, safe and secure way is front of mind for many people around the world. As the coronavirus situation has evolved, we have seen a surge in demand for digital payments to transition to include new in-person environments and situations,” said John Kunze, Senior Vice President of Branded Experiences, PayPal. “The rollout of QR codes for buyers and sellers not only incorporates the safety, security and convenience of using PayPal in-person, but also takes into consideration ongoing social distancing requirements, even as we start to see some restrictions be lifted around the world.”
Maeve Dorman, Vice President of Global Merchant Services, PayPal, said: “Covid-19 has changed the shopping experience in Ireland as we know it. Not only do people need security and convenience, as always, they now need to be able to sell and buy in a way that is quick, safe and involves limited social contact. Digital payments, and this QR code functionality, allow for this and could be the means through which small Irish businesses survive during the crisis and potentially thrive in the future.”
Additionally, to continue PayPal’s efforts in assisting our customers during this difficult period, for a limited time, we are waiving our standard seller transaction fees incurred on for sales conducted using a QR Code.
Safely buying and selling touch free - from takeaway coffee shops to selling secondhand goods:
Using the QR code functionality in the PayPal app is a quick and safe way to complete a transaction in-person utilising a PayPal wallet, eliminating the need to handle cash. For example, customers who are selling items in-person at local coffee shop can print a QR code, place it on their table and have their consumers simply scan, enter the amount they’re paying and send money immediately. This allows the seller to minimise physical interactions with the customer, while also limiting the customer’s interaction with checkout technology. There is no technology to touch or purchase – just aim a smartphone camera at a QR Code that is printed or present on another screen.
For a buyer looking to pay, customers can go to the PayPal app, click ‘Send’ and tap the QR code symbol in the top right-hand corner. The camera will open and customers can scan a seller’s QR code and follow the prompts to complete the transaction. Sellers can create a PayPal-generated QR code for by following the steps outlined here.
PayPal is rolling this functionality out to 28 markets around the globe including: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.
Return To Work Webinars
Unsure about your organisation returning to work post Covid-19? The Chris Mee Group are running a number of online webinars over the coming week which will provide lots of useful information to helo get you going again. Sign up here.