Increased costs threatening business says Cork publican

Fianna Fáil Councillor Sean O’Donovan represents the Bandon area and is a publican facing rising costs.
Increased costs threatening business says Cork publican

Fianna Fáil Councillor Sean O’Donovan represents the Bandon area and is a publican facing rising costs. Picture Denis Boyle

Independent and family-owned restaurants, pubs and coffee shops are facing into one of the bleakest winters in years, with rising costs threatening the viability of much-loved stores in Cork city and county.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Sean O’Donovan represents the Bandon area and is a publican facing rising costs.

“The overheads, the costs of rents and rates – it’s not easy. 

“Covid changed a lot of things. People started bringing their lunch to work from home and the footfall isn’t there anymore. A lot of people are working from home and that has a knock-on effect as well.” 

One small business owner told The Echo that banks are increasingly unwilling to lend to small businesses, and prefer the larger franchises, which they see as a smaller risk. 

“You can’t even get business service,” says Cllr O’Donovan. 

Councillor O’Donovan says the government’s offer of up to €10,000 to offset business bills will certainly help.  Photo: Billy MacGill.
Councillor O’Donovan says the government’s offer of up to €10,000 to offset business bills will certainly help.  Photo: Billy MacGill.

“You have to email in your change order and pick it up at certain hours. If you miss it, it’s just tough luck. I’ve been left having to trade at the weekend without having my coin order because I was late picking it up. The banks are certainly not making it easy.” 

Electricity bills have tripled recently. Pubs have to keep their pumps going at all times to serve customers pints.

“It’s not easy. I am looking at low-energy lighting to see what savings that can make. This won’t last forever, and if we can just get over the hump.” 

Councillor O’Donovan says the government’s offer of up to €10,000 to offset business bills will certainly help. 

At present, Cllr O’Donovan charges €4.60 for a pint of Guinness, but he has no plans to increase this. 

“That would be the last resort. I think the customers are already paying enough for the pint.”

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