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Guidance for reopening your business

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

It is heartening to see so many businesses reopen in recent weeks. I hope that the progress can continue so that we see the remaining hospitality businesses back in action shortly.

While there is a raft of information from Government and HSE sources, this week I will briefly outline some items to remember from an insurance perspective.

Contact your insurance advisor before you reopen: You may have reduced cover on your property or liability cover over the closure period and it is important to update this prior to opening your doors. Remember you may have staff on site in advance of reopening so it is vital that your policy covers them.
Review your Health and Safety Statement. This should be a living document and be available to review as needs be. Your COVID-19 safety measures should be included and all employees should sign that they have read and understand the statement.

Obtain Return to Work forms: Before any of the team return to work they will need to complete a return to work form and partake in any necessary training. These documents can be found at www.hse.ie.

Outdoor seating: If you are planning outdoor seating on public owned areas you will need to obtain a permit from Kerry County Council and your insurance policy will need to issue a specific indemnity to the Council. The Council will also require a minimum limit of indemnity of €6.5 million, which is standard practice for all State bodies. If this is your first time undertaking outdoor hospitality then you should include this in your Health and Safety Statement and do a full risk assessment.

Water systems: Put in place control measures to avoid the potential for legionnaire’s disease before your premises reopens.

Inspect plant and equipment: This includes lifts, ventilation and kitchen duct systems and generators. Ensure that your inspection certificates are up to date for any lifting plant including passenger and goods lifts.
Identify and display appropriate warning and safety signage for your premises.

Cleaning: Arrange the appropriate cleaning of your buildings and contents. External cleaning contractors should provide you with a method statement, proof of insurance and when finished written confirmation that the cleaning has been completed to the agreed standard.

The above is not exhaustive but there is a wealth of information available on www.hse.ie and www.hsa.ie for reopening. Finally, the very best of luck to all the hospitality businesses getting back to what they do best. All we need now is that heatwave!

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How to value a company

By Michael O’Connor, theislandinvestor.com Every company valuation is simply numbers from today multiplied by a story about tomorrow. You have financial statements that give you an insight into how the […]

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By Michael O’Connor, theislandinvestor.com

Every company valuation is simply numbers from today multiplied by a story about tomorrow.

You have financial statements that give you an insight into how the company is performing at a specific moment in time, but it will be the future growth projections from management and market analysts that ultimately determine the price.

Take Tesla, for instance. Revenue and cash flows provided insight into the company’s performance, but it was predictions about future automated driving capabilities, battery production capacity and a world pivoting towards electronic vehicles that drove the company to its trillion-dollar valuation. Today, the revenue and cash flows are better than they have ever been, but the story about tomorrow has faded, and the company is down almost 60%.

While the numbers from today can be quantified, the story is driven by the future growth possibilities of the company. These future growth possibilities can seem rational at any one moment, but as the economy and company performance change, so do the growth possibilities.

Be careful how much weight you put on the stories the market is telling you about specific companies. As the information changes, so too will the story.

To quote Morgan Housel

“We can use historical data to assume a trend will continue, but that’s just a story we want to believe in a world where things change all the time”

Valuation tips

When valuing a company, you need to listen to the story being told by the company’s management team and assess whether this story is economically viable.

Here are three areas to focus on and some questions you should always ask yourself when valuing a company.

Current Cashflows

Is the company generating the profits needed to fund future business? Are the gross and net margins of the company competitive? How stable has the revenue generation been over time? Has the ROE from management been competitive?

Growth Potential

What has the revenue and earnings growth rate been over time? Are there potential revenue streams not currently being accounted for? Does the company have operating leverage that will help drive future profit margins? Does the company have a durable competitive advantage?

Future Risk

Who are the major competitors in the space, and does the company have an established moat to protect its market share? At what point will the company saturate the market, inhibiting future growth? Is the story currently being told by management viable if economic conditions changes?

Stock Picking is Hard

Since the 1940s, the phenomenal return of the S&P 500 has been generated by just 7% of the companies within the index. That is to say, 93% of the companies that made up the index reported flat or negative returns over time.

Remember, while the stock market has historically provided positive returns, picking individual names remains a difficult feat, with the odds very much stacked against you.

For those who get it right, financial elation awaits. But beware, information is constantly changing, so the probability of success can be lower than you think, no matter how strongly you believe in the future story you tell yourself.

If you have any investing questions, scan the QR code above and reach out. Always happy to help.

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Broadening the Vacant Homes grant

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY  Vacant property grants of up to €50,000 are to be extended to all vacant properties across the country in a bid to bring […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY
 

Vacant property grants of up to €50,000 are to be extended to all vacant properties across the country in a bid to bring as many unoccupied buildings back into use as family homes.

Until now the grant has provided financial supports to refurbished vacant properties in towns and villages only.

However, at the time of writing, it is expected that Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien will announce that he is bringing properties in inner city areas including Cork, Dublin, Galway, and Limerick as well as one-off farmhouses in rural locations into the scheme.

Over 400 applications for the scheme have been made to date since its launch in July of this year. While the qualifying criteria is to be broadened out, it is understood that there are currently no plans to increase the €50m which had been originally allocated for the scheme.

However, this could be reviewed if the scheme is oversubscribed.

Under the scheme, a grant of up €30,000 is available for the refurbishment of vacant properties for occupation as a principal private residence, including the conversion of a property which has not been used as residential heretofore.

However, people can apply for a top-up grant of up to €20,000 where the property is derelict and structurally unsound.

The grants, which are primarily aimed at helping first-time buyers to bridge the cost of refurbishing older and unused homes can also be combined with supports received under the Sustainable Energy Authority Of Ireland (SEAI) Better Energy Homes scheme.

Properties must be vacant for two years or more and built before 1993 to qualify.

Preliminary results from Census 2022 recorded more than 166,000 dwellings as vacant in the State.

While some of these may have been unoccupied on a temporary basis, more than 30% (48,387) of the dwellings vacant in 2022 were also out of use when the previous Census was carried out in 2016.

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