Covid-19 economic fears for Donegal after report indicates county in top three of counties likely to be worse affected

Bundoran is most exposed town in Ireland with 75.1% of commercial units likely to suffer

Covid-19 economic fears for Donegal after report indicates county in top three of counties likely to be worse affected

A major report by the country's three regional assemblies has identified Donegal as one of the top three counties in the country that is most economically at risk as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The three Regional Assemblies of Ireland also examined which towns are more likely to be exposed to significant economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and this also makes some sober reading from a Donegal perspective. 

The report signals that Bundoran is likely to be the most exposed town in Ireland with 75.1% of its commercial units likely to be the worst affected.

The county with the highest “Covid-19 Exposure Ratio” was Kerry, with 53.8% of its commercial units operating in the sectors likely to be worst affected, followed by Westmeath at 51%, Donegal at 50.6%, Cavan at 50.5 % and Clare at 50.4%.

THE REPORT SAYS THAT BUNDORAN WILL BE THE WORST AFFECTED TOWN 

The authors say that coastal and rural counties are more likely to be exposed due to their reliance on commercial units that generally require human interaction and cannot be operated remotely.


Other Donegal towns that are said to be exposed to significant economic disruption are Buncrana (54.4%),Ballybofey-Stranorlar (52.7%), Donegal town (52.4%), Carndonagh (50.8%), Ballyshannon (50.3%), Letterkenny (49.3%), Lifford (44.1%) and Convoy (34.0%). 

Exposure is generally lower in more urban based counties as such counties rely more on economic activities that are capable of operating remotely in areas such as finance, ICT and professional and technical services, the report says.

Dublin has the highest number of commercial units operating in the most exposed sectors at 14,360 units, followed by Cork at 8,144 units, Galway at 4,253 units, Kerry at 3,263 units and Donegal at 3,222 units.

A geographical area’s “Covid-19 Exposure Ratio” represents the total number of its commercial units that were operating in the sectors likely to be worst affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, as a proportion of its total commercial stock as of September 2019. 

The higher this ratio is for an area, the more likely this area is exposed to significant economic disruption as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, as many firms in these sectors are likely to be severely impacted from this crisis.

Out of the three regions, the Northern and Western region also had the highest “COVID-19 Exposure Ratio”, with 48.6 percent of its commercial units operating in the worst affected sectors; all of whom are likely to be severely impacted from this crisis.

Commercial units that were listed in the GeoDirectory database with the following NACE code classifications were considered to represent the sectors likely to be worst affected by the COVID-19 outbreak:

NACE Code B “Mining and Quarrying” 

NACE Code F “Construction” 

NACE Code G “Wholesale and Retail Services” excluding commercial units classified as “essential services” as per the government guidelines

NACE Code I “Accommodation and Food Services”  

NACE Code R “Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Services” 

NACE Code Q.88.91 “Child Day-Care Activities” 

NACE Codes S.96.02 “Hairdressing and other beauty treatment”, S.96.04 “Activities of physical wellbeing institutes” and S.96.09 “Other personal service activities”.

Out of all the activities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in Ireland, these sectors are likely to have experienced the greatest disruption as a result of the public health measures used to curtail the spread of COVID-19; primarily for two reasons:Commercial units operating within these selected sectors rely completely on human interaction and therefore have been forced to either close or downsize their operations dramatically due to social distancing measures. 

Also the nature of their operations largely prevent them from operating remotely, exposing them to a significant decline in revenue, the report concluded.

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