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Update from Neil McDonnell, ISME CEO

Dear Members and Colleagues,

We have refrained from involving ourselves in the public health management of the pandemic, but this was based on the notion that Government was in charge of the process and was following best international advice. This is not something we are satisfied is the case anymore, and on 2nd November we wrote to the Taoiseach, Ministers and TDs outlining our concerns on NPHET, Ireland’s public health response, and on Covid-19 testing. You can read the letter sent here.

We are willing to accept intrusive control measures after this lockdown, since there is very little as intrusive as a national level 5 lockdown. What we are unwilling to accept is the use of rolling lockdowns as the sole Covid-19 control measure. We are asking again that you also reach out to your local TD by amending and forwarding the letter found here. You can find your local TDs details here.

While your doors may be physically closed ISME are running a Shop Local…not just for Christmas campaign to encourage people to support Irish SMEs. We have developed a section on isme.ie with a listing of businesses, ‘Green Friday’ special offers offer and advice – take a look here. There is no charge, so If you would like to be involved please complete the form here.

Last week we launched our fifth COVID survey of the year. Running these has been extremely helpful with our lobbying so thank you to everyone who has taken part. We would now ask you to complete and share the latest version here.

With 42 days to go to Brexit, we must be realistic about our expectations about anything other than a very skinny deal. If any part of your supply chain is exposed to the UK market on the import, export or services side, you can expect disruption. Check out our Brexit Page for advice and supports.

Google Ireland is partnering with ISME on a series of training as part of its Grow with Google initiative. Kicking off next Wednesday, the online courses and webinars, which are free to ISME members, will provide SMEs with practical training to help them grow and enhance their online presence. Further details on both the webinars can found by clicking the links below:

Being found on Search & Maps with Google My Business | Date: Wednesday 25th November

Get started with search engine optimisation (SEO) | Date: Wednesday 2nd December

Every day we hear horrific stories that are reminders to look after each other and our mental health in these unprecedented times. Our wellness partners Laya Healthcare have developed Wellbeing Live – All free, all live and all available to you at home. Take a look at their portal here and if you want to further support your employees we would encourage you to take a look at our Wellness Programme here.

This is the final call for the ISME 2021 Wall planner. If you would like to get involved please email [email protected] or download the rate cards here. As always ISME members receive discounts on these opportunities.

On 13 October, Member States adopted the EU Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel restrictions. This ‘traffic lights’ approach provides for regions across the European Union and European Economic Area to be categorised as green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. With effect from midnight 29 November 2020 passengers arriving from an “orange” or “red” or “grey” region are to restrict their movements for 14 days. This period of restricted movement can end if the passenger receives a negative/’not detected’ result of a PCR test that has been taken a minimum of five days after arrival in Ireland. Read more from ISME here.

It is more important than ever to keep COVID out of our communities so we can get re-opened as soon as possible. Remind your colleagues, family and friends to WASH HANDS, MASK UP, MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCE & FOLLOW THE FRAMEWORK. If you need mental health supports and services during COVID-19 there is a full list of services here.

Stay safe, and like always remember you are not alone,

Neil McDonnell,