The Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey (BICS) has been created to measure and report quickly on key features of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on business in Ireland.
The survey is being conducted online and covers a sample of approximately 3,000 enterprises. The first wave of the survey was collected in the week commencing 20 April 2020 while the most recent sixth wave of the survey was collected 24 August 2020.
|Wave||Period Covered||Response Rate|
|1||16 March to 19 April 2020||26.0%|
|2||20 April to 3 May 2020||24.5%|
|3||4 May to 31 May 2020||27.9%|
|4||1 June to 28 June 2020||27.1%|
|5||29 June to 26 July 2020||24.9%|
|6||27 July to 23 August 2020||25.5%|
The survey was collected from enterprises on a voluntary basis under Section 24 of the Statistics Act, 1993.
The information collected in the survey is confidential under the Statistics Act and will only be used by the Central Statistics Office for the compilation of aggregate statistics. The CSO has checked the statistical outputs of the survey to ensure that tables do not disclose details of any company. The raw data will not be shared with any other organisations.
The CSO would like to thank businesses that responded to the Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey.
The reporting statistical unit for the BICS is the enterprise. The sample size for the BICS is 3,000 enterprises. The enterprise is defined as the smallest combination of legal units that is an organisational unit producing goods and/or services, which benefits from a certain degree of autonomy in decision-making.
There was a response rate of 24.9% to the fifth wave of the survey. It is important to note that the results of the survey apply to respondents only, and that no imputation or estimation procedures have been used in the case of non-response. The CSO acknowledges that not all businesses may be in a position to respond to the survey. Therefore, as the results of the survey are unweighted, they may only reflect the characteristics of those who have responded.
Enterprises of all size classes were surveyed. The sectors of economic activity included in the survey were determined in accordance with the NACE Rev. 2 classification scheme, which is the European Commission’s classification system for economic activity. The NACE Rev. 2 sectors included in the survey were as follows:
Sector B: Mining and quarrying
Sector C: Manufacturing
Sector D: Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
Sector E: Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
Sector F: Construction
Sector G: Wholesale and retail trade; Repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
Sector H: Transportation and storage
Sector I: Accommodation and food service activities
Sector J: Information and communication
Sector K: Financial and insurance activities
Sector L: Real estate activities
Sector M: Professional, scientific and technical activities
Sector N: Administrative and support service activities
Sector R: Arts, entertainment and recreation
Sector S: Other service activities
Please note that some more granular NACE Rev. 2 descriptions were also referenced in the text of this release. For further information on the NACE Rev. 2 classification scheme, please click Classifications
The survey is collected via an online questionnaire. The topics covered are about how the COVID-19 crisis has affected business and what steps have been taken as a result – e.g. in relation to the level of business, workforce and organisational changes, access to finance, and availing of Government support schemes.
The following is a link to the questionnaire for each wave of the BICS survey:Business Impact of COVID-19 Survey
For the BICS, the size class of an enterprise is determined by the number of persons engaged associated with the enterprise as follows:
|Size Class||Number of Persons Engaged|
|Micro||0 - 9|
|Small||10 - 49|
|Medium||50 - 249|
|SMEs||0 - 249|
A Small or Medium Enterprise (SME) is an amalgamation of the Micro, Small and Medium categories, i.e. having 0-249 persons engaged.
In the above results, there are cases where several NACE Rev. 2 categories are presented in aggregate form as follows:
|Sector||NACE Rev. 2 Category|
|Wholesale and Retail||G|
Note: Some of the data presenting in the release separate Accommodation and Food Services (NACE I) from Services.
Many of the breakdowns in this release are based on the enterprise’s own best estimate at a point in time. The qualitative nature of these breakdowns has been chosen to limit burden on respondents.