Morning business news - February 5Wednesday 05 February 2014 10.35
Households and businesses in Cork city and country were flooded again last night. There was severe flooding again across the city centre which caused extensive damage to over 100 business premises with a massive cleanup operation continuing through the night. The Lord Mayor of Cork City, Councillor Catherine Clancy, has said plans for new flood defences in the city need to be put in place. But businesses in the city are very keen to stress that they are open for business today and are urging people to come in to the city.
The president of Cork Chamber of Commerce, Gillian Keating, says her organisation's office are safe as they had invested recently in strong flood defences. She said the cost of these defences was not that expensive, given the fact that flooding is not an exceptional event in Cork city. Ms Keating says the damage caused by the floods is not yet quantifiable in money terms, adding that the human factor and emotional distress must also be taken into account. She says the suggestion that business pay for flood insurance through a small levy on businesses would not really work as already hard-pressed firms are struggling to pay all their business costs.
Ms Keating also said that communication strategies agreed with the Minister of State at the Office of Public Works in relation to flood relief measures for the city have not been put in place. She said she had received assurances in a meeting with Minister Brian Hayes and OPW representatives in November, that those strategies would be put in place so Chamber members could be advised about works that were being carried out, or due to be carried out. The chamber had written to the Minister recently requesting that the communications level would be immediately ramped up, and that a new consultation process on the works would be put in place to take opinions of traders in Cork City, Blackpool and Ballyvolane into account.
MORNING BRIEFS - You Tube, the Google-owned video-sharing website, has started to "audit" the number of views a video has received. This is to stop users from artificially inflating view counts which, YouTube said, mislead people about the popularity of a video. The site now has more than a billion unique users each month. Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube - that is almost an hour for every person in the world, and 50% more than last year. 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
*** Microsoft has announced - as expected - that Satya Nadella will be its next chief executive, replacing Steve Ballmer. Mr Nadella, is 46, and is Microsoft's third chief executive in its 39 year history. Company founder Bill Gates said there was "no better person to lead Microsoft". Bill Gates is stepping down as chairman, but will take up a new role as a technology adviser and will also keep a seat on Microsoft's board.