New CBA president says mask-wearing can curb staff shortages that are crippling Cork businesses

Speaking about the current situation with rising case numbers, he said that businesses are seeing the effects, with many staff members out of work due to the virus
New CBA president says mask-wearing can curb staff shortages that are crippling Cork businesses

The Cork Business Association has announced Kevin Herlihy of Herlihy Centra Group as their new President. Pictured here with the outgoing President Eoin O’Sullivan of M&P O’Sullivan. Pic: Brian Lougheed

THE new president of the Cork Business Association (CBA) has raised concerns about inflation and the effect of Covid-related staffing issues on Cork city businesses.

Kevin Herlihy of the Herlihy Centra Group was appointed during the 65th Annual General Meeting of the CBA at the Metropole Hotel Cork this week.

Speaking about the current situation with rising case numbers, he said that businesses are seeing the effects, with many staff members out of work due to the virus.

“I have people out every week with Covid so it absolutely is having an effect. You'd see some businesses open later in the mornings and closing earlier in the evenings and I saw one business today closed totally because of a staff shortage because of Covid but we have to drive on and try and get on with things,” he said.

"You'd see some businesses open later in the mornings and closing earlier in the evenings and I saw one business today closed totally because of a staff shortage because of Covid but we have to drive on and try and get on with things,” he said.

Mr Herlihy said “it would be no harm to go back to mask-wearing” given the current spread of the virus.

“Obviously, we don't want to see shutdowns and lockdowns or anything like that but I am certainly in favour of and we’re encouraging our staff to wear masks at work. Obviously, it’s a voluntary thing, they make their own decision as to whether they want to wear them or not but we are encouraging staff to wear them and I see a lot of businesses doing the same around the city,” he said.

The Cork Business Association has announced Kevin Herlihy of Herlihy Centra Group as their new President. Pic: Brian Lougheed
The Cork Business Association has announced Kevin Herlihy of Herlihy Centra Group as their new President. Pic: Brian Lougheed

He said that another big concern for the business community at the moment is rising inflation.

“We’re seeing price increases coming through every single day on items that we’re selling and on energy bills, everything seems to be going north which really is concerning, to say the least. Hopefully from a business perspective, it will sort itself out.” 

Speaking about his appointment, he said he is “delighted” to accept the opportunity to be president of the CBA and that it is an honour for him and his family.

MEMBERSHIP

He said that a big goal for him to achieve during his time as president is to grow the CBA’s membership.

“I feel it’s not strong enough in the city. There are not enough people who know about us and our strength is in our numbers so that’s the plan,” he said.

The Cork Business Association has announced Kevin Herlihy of Herlihy Centra Group as their new President.
The Cork Business Association has announced Kevin Herlihy of Herlihy Centra Group as their new President.

Mr Herlihy has taken over the reins from Eoin O’Sullivan, who had a successful two-year term in the role of president in what was a challenging time for business in Cork due to the pandemic and who will continue to play an active role with the CBA and support Mr Herlihy in his new role.

Mr Herlihy also acknowledged the economic opportunities being presented to Cork, including the progression of the events centre and flood defence project, as well as the redevelopment of Bishop Lucey Park, The Queens Old Castle, and North Main Street.

“Through previous presidents, we have built relationships with key stakeholders in the city such as Cork City Council, the gardaí, tourism bodies such as Fáilte Ireland, retail forums and infrastructure bodies to name but a few. My aim will be to keep and indeed harness these relationships further,” he said.

Mr Herlihy and his brother Brian own seven Centra stores in Cork city and county after the business was started by their late Father Pat back in 1980.

“It has been very beneficial to have been part of this organisation over the years and I would like to remind business owners in Cork that we are here for you and that our door is always open, be it a small problem or a big one,” he said.

Business and Communications Manager of Cork Business Association Helen Murphy congratulated Mr Herlihy on his appointment and said she looks forward to working with him during his term as CBA President.

“Kevin is a proven entrepreneur, with a strong track record in growing the Herlihy Centra Group. Under his guidance and direction, CBA will continue to grow and build strong relationships with and on behalf of its members, and so help to foster the vibrant city centre eco-system that is beginning to develop as we cautiously exit the most serious effects of the pandemic,” she said.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more