Clare business owners are expressing optimism that traders here can bounce back after the coronavirus crisis subsides.
All pubs and hotel bars are closed as of midnight last night, while several hotels, shops, restaurants and cafés are following suit in the interest of public safety, despite no government directive to do so as of yet.
Measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 increased last night, with pubs added to the list of closed facilities that already includes all schools, colleges, childcare facilities and other public facilities.
But a number of businesses have taken pre-emptive action by deciding to close their doors earlier than they’re asked to do so.
But now, concern is being expressed about the long term impact, with the Vintners Federation saying hundreds of pubs may never reopen after this is over.
One of the publicans in Clare who is impacted by the government advice is Jayme Keogh, who runs Boruma Gastro Bar in Ballina-Killaloe.
It’s also a worrying time for those operating in the tourism sector, with many hoteliers deciding to shut down completely during this lockdown.
Among them is John Burke of the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point.
He says it will be an incredibly difficult time for business owners in Clare and he wants a special support fund to be set up by the government
But despite the doom and gloom, some remain hopeful about the future, after the current crisis subsides.
President of Ennis Chamber Gwen Culligan has taken the decision to close her shop, The County Boutique, for the time being but says we’re all in this together.
A special unemployment benefit of 203 euro a week, for six weeks, has been introduced for employees and the self employed who are without work because of the pandemic.
Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty, says people can apply online.