So, here we go again. 

For the second time in less than six months, the country is anxiously looking towards reopening the economy and society. 

And once again, the decision-making will boil down to balancing public health with the health of the economy. 

Yet, although the Government has been through this all once before, businesses are once again not happy with how it is all being handled. 

The difference this time, of course, is that the lucrative Christmas market is in play. 

For many retailers and firms in other sectors like hospitality, the festive season can account for up to 50% of their annual revenues and if they are lucky, their profits. 

Stock has in many cases been bought in and is sitting waiting to be sold. 

As such, in normal times they simply cannot afford to do without the pre-Christmas splurge. 

In Covid times, it could be the difference between surviving as a going concern into 2021, or not. 

With so much at stake then, it is understandable businesses are chomping at the bit to reopen. 

Yet so far, at least, there is no published plan about how that will happen, or indeed a guarantee of when it will take place. 

The Minister of State with responsibility for the retail sector, Damien English, confirmed today that the Government is still aiming for a December 1 reopening, with a plan likely to be published at the back end of next week. 

But the sectors worst impacted by the Level 5 restrictions - namely retail, tourism and hospitality, and travel - don't want to wait until four or five days before then to get a plan. 

And if possible they want to begin the process of opening sooner - something that now looks unlikely. 

For many businesses, particularly larger ones, reopening for Christmas won’t be as simple as pulling up the shutters, or setting a table, or turning on the beer pumps. 

Stock may have to be repositioned from online distribution warehouses or click and collect locations that have been struggling on in recent weeks, back to the retail outlets. 

Those in hospitality will need to buy in fresh produce - something they will be reluctant to do unless there is a clear green light for reopening. 

There is also the issue of staffing. A full-on three week pre-Christmas rush, with the added complication of social-distancing, queuing, and possibly longer opening hours, will mean more staff will be required. 

They will need to be recruited (or brought back in if they have been laid off or furloughed), trained in any new changes in procedures, and rosters drawn up. 

So you quickly begin to see why it is that companies are getting anxious at best, and annoyed at worst. 

The uncharacteristically blunt correspondence sent by Ibec and Retail Excellence to the Government in the last 24 hours will likely serve to focus minds. 

Ibec’s letter in particular pulls no punches, referring to an "intolerable" situation, accusing the Government’s approach of lacking empathy, criticising the public communications of the National Public Health Emergency Team and the lack of private engagement between the state and the sectors that keep the economy alive. 

It’s a clear measure of the frustration being felt by many in business. 

Of course, all concerned are quick to underline that they understand that maintaining public health is of paramount importance. 

There are also some in business who will be happy to go along with the Government’s approach to opening up again, in the public interest. 

But expect to see the pressure on Government ratchet up further in the coming days until the much sought clarity is provided. 

Because all the impacted businesses want for Christmas is a chance to make a few quid and survive. 

And after the year that they’ve had, there is no shortage of public sympathy for their plight.