Catriona Lysaght (Manager of The Speech Centre) was featured in the Irish Examiner Business Section recently in a piece highlighting women in business and the effect of Covid19 on SMEs.
She says: “A huge thank you to the Irish Examiner for the interest and support. Covid-19 is affecting businesses in so many ways, this is just one of them. I’m proud to be a business woman, proud of my family, and proud of myself and my speech therapy team.”
A small business owner in Munster has said the severe impact of Covid-19 on her business meant she could only take two days of maternity leave following the birth of her daughter.
Catriona Lysaght gave birth to her fourth baby last Thursday but had to return to work on Monday to ensure her speech and language business can continue to operate through the pandemic.
Catriona established The Speech Centre in Dublin in 2010. Now based near Buttevant, North Cork, her business has grown and provides services in eight locations around Ireland including in Bantry.
Her intention was to “step back” from the business for a short time when the baby arrived, but because of Covid-19 and the pressures it has brought to small businesses around the country, she now finds herself having to be there for her staff and in a prime position to ensure her practice survives the pandemic.
“The Speech Centre was my first baby, I suppose, and a lot of people say that about their own businesses but I put my heart and soul into it and grew it,” she told the Irish Examiner.
“Since then I have been growing my family as well.
“We had our fourth baby on Thursday; with all the other children I worked through the typical maternity leave; the first one, I had a few months off, with the second and third I had a few weeks to myself — which was lovely — and I had hoped with this one that I could structure the business in a way that would allow me to step back from it for a few months and enjoy what is going to be our last baby.”
However, the pandemic forced her to rethink her maternity plans.
“Things turned out different because the Covid-19 pandemic started and all of the structures that I put in place in the business to give myself that bit of a break from it, went by the wayside,” she said.
“Suddenly funds were very tight and it became very difficult to work out a plan to stay open and then how to reopen after the restrictions were lifted in June.