The Government sprang a surprise in its €7 billion stimulus plan, announcing a six-month cut in the top rate of VAT, alongside an expanded help to buy scheme for first-time homeowners and continued support for those made unemployed by Covid or at risk of it. Business gave the plan a cautious welcome but said “much more” was needed.

Still in the corridors of power, briefing papers for incoming Minister for Public Enterprise and Reform Michael McGrath from his departmental chiefs warn of a public sector workforce and pay bill that may need curtailing and a concern that budgets for major infrastructure projects don’t reflect the likely cost. Martin Wall and Jack Horgan-Jones report.

Developer Johnny Ronan is in pole position to secure control of the Irish Glass Bottle site with a market-topping bid, writes Joe Brennan. The outcome sees Ronan, and his joint venture partner Colony Capital, sitting down with his one-time nemesis Nama to plot the future of the largest remaining landbank in Dublin.

Also looking good is international law firm Pinsent Masons, which says it has seen “exceptional growth” in Ireland, writes Peter Hamilton. A back of the envelope calculation, based on groupwide figures, suggests the Irish business made a profit of close to €5.4 million in the year to April 30th.

Things are tougher right now for Ardagh’s Paul Coulson whose glass and metal packaging business has been unable to shrug off Covid, sliding to a $64 million net loss in the second quarter on the back of lower pandemic sales and costs associated with debt refinancing. Joe Brennan has the details.

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Covid is a focus too for Kitman Labs, the Irish sports tech company founded to help professional sportspeople improve performance and reduce injury. The business has raised another $6 million and is turning its attention to Covid safety protocols. Charlie Taylor reports

The job at beleaguered baked goods group Aryzta just keeps getting harder with a total breakdown in trust between the company and shareholders controlling over a fifth of the stock evident as dissident shareholder Veraison threatening legal action. Ciara O’Brien reports.

Three Ailesbury Road residents have brought a legal challenge over An Bord Pleanála’s handling of an application for permission for 614 homes on former RTÉ site at Montrose. They are arguing that An Bord Pleanála has not followed the process correctly and that the process itself may be unconstitutional. Mary Carolan was in court.

In his column, John FitzGerald writes that new data shows that Ireland Inc was in a good place in the run-up to the Covid pandemic but the virus will set the economy back and, without a vaccine, could hobble it for years.

‘Pure talent only works with tenacity: you need both to survive’ – that’s Killarney Maura Kelly’s recipe for success in the Big Apple, where she has worked in television production and as a consultant for non-profits.

Finally, managing a remote workforce during the Covid-19 shutdown has highlighted the need for soft skills – such as empathy and compassion – while still making the hard business decisions necessary. It has sent some managers scrambling for guidance, writes Olive Keogh.

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