“We always have more ideas than we have profits to reinvest”

Thomas Hubert
27th May, 2020

Norman Crowley has set his global climate change business on a path to double revenue every year – although he acknowledges a nine-month setback from Covid-19. Speaking to Thomas Hubert from his base in Co Wicklow, he explains the rationale behind the formation of the Cool Planet Group, which raised €30 million from French investors earlier this year. The Crowley Carbon energy efficiency business at its centre now serves international clients from Google to Glanbia, and is preparing to license out the software providing the brains of the operation. Meanwhile, an assembly site is under construction at the Powerscourt Estate to manufacture million-dollar luxury electric cars. As the Greens are set to enter government here, does Crowley expect a policy boost to his business? His answer is a definite “no”.

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Three possible futures and one definite future past: Will the Irish recovery be V, U or L shaped?

Stephen Kinsella
20th May, 2020

A new CSO survey of indigenous firms has revealed that almost a quarter of all businesses are now shuttered. When they reopen, what will the economy look like? In this podcast, The Currency’s Chief Economics Writer Stephen Kinsella outlines the various scenarios – from a V shaped recovery to an L shaped recession - and assesses the impact of each on the economy. Plus, he discusses the new €500bn Franco-German proposal to shield the European economy from the Covid-19 crisis, and argues the need for a coherent stimulus strategy targeting medium sized Irish businesses.

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“We did our final service on a Saturday as all hell was breaking loose. By Tuesday, the restaurant was a high-end food store”

Sam Smyth
12th May, 2020

Since it opened seven years ago, Dublin’s Forest Avenue has developed a reputation as one of the country’s finest restaurants. But its success – and the demands of the industry – has also had an impact on the couple behind the eatery – John and Sandy Wyer. Fearing burnout and operating in an “unworkable industry”, the couple were looking at ways to reinvent themselves and their business – and Covid-19 has given them a chance to do just that. Within days of the lockdown, they had transformed their property into a high-end food store, a move that allowed them to retain staff, maintain relations with suppliers and keep paying the bills. In this podcast with Sam Smyth, they talk about their journey to date, why Forest Avenue is “full of contradictions and juxtaposition” and how they prefer happy customers to awards.

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“This plan is about survival and protecting jobs. Our entire industry has written off the next two years from a profitability perspective”

Ian Kehoe
6th May, 2020

David Maxwell, the chief executive of the fast-growing Mexican fast casual food brand Boojum, is part of the Save Our Restaurants Coalition, a group of restaurateurs that have developed a package of proposals aimed at salvaging the industry from the Covid-19 crisis. The group has tabled a package of tiered remedies to address what it believes are three main issues – labour costs, occupancy costs and debt repayment. The first two are essentially asks upon the state, while the third will require buy-in from banks. So, just exactly what are the group looking for, and will they get the state and lenders to back the proposals? Maxwell takes Ian Kehoe through the issuers and the detail.

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