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Press Statement


18 May 2020

CSO Publishes Data on Business Impact of COVID-19

  • More than three-quarters (76.0%) of responding enterprises were continuing to trade as of Sunday, May 3
  • Among the enterprises that responded to both waves of the survey, 16.8% who had ceased trading temporarily by 19 April had recommenced trading by May 3
  • Seven-in-ten (70.4%) responding enterprises reported turnover of at least 10% less than usual for the two-week period from Monday, April 20 to Sunday, May 3
  • More than half (53.2%) of responding enterprises had implemented working arrangements to facilitate social distancing in response to the COVID-19 crisis
  • One-in-ten (10.4%) of responding enterprises had repurposed some production to supply products needed during the COVID-19 crisis

Go to release: Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey 20 April to 3 May 2020

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (18 May 2020) published the results of the second wave of its Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS). Wave Two of the BICS release differs from the results previously published on Friday, 1 May in that the online questionnaire included additional questions on how prices have changed, and what innovative business practices have been adopted in response to COVID-19.

The online survey was sent to a sample of 3,000 businesses and the information was collected between Tuesday, May 5 and Monday, 12 May 2020. The response rate to the survey was 24.5%. Commenting on the results, Statistician, Colin Hanley, said:

The results show that 76.0% of responding enterprises were continuing to trade on 3 May 2020.

From the first wave of the BICS, 16.8% of the enterprises who had ceased trading by 19 April and also responded to Wave Two had returned to trading by 3 May.

Most responding enterprises (70.4%) had a reduction in turnover of 10% or more during the two-week period from Monday 20 April to Sunday 3 May, compared to normal expectations.

More than half (52.3%) of enterprises who responded to the survey indicated that they had implemented working arrangements to facilitate social distancing measures in response to COVID-19.

Repurposing of production to meet new demands for products during COVID-19 was reported by 10.4% of respondents. This includes products such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or hand sanitiser, for example.

It is important to note that the results presented in the survey represent responding enterprises only and are unweighted.’

The first two waves of the BICS were carried out on a fortnightly basis. However, future waves will be carried out every four weeks. Wave Three of the BICS will now be distributed on Monday, 1 June 2020. The reasons for this are:

  • To reduce the response burden on businesses
  • To allow for design changes to the questionnaire which will capture the most important information as society and business reopens

The CSO wishes to thank respondents to date for their ongoing participation in the survey.

For further information contact:

Colin Hanley (+353) 21 453 5559 or Eamonn Cleary (+353) 21 453 5483

or email

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