The economic impact of Covid-19 has led to a dramatic fall in the number of start-ups being formed in Ireland.
The months of March and April saw a 29pc year-on-year decrease in the setting up of companies here, according to figures from business and credit risk analyst CRIF Vision-net.
Firms involved in leasing had the biggest decline in businesses being established.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the Government restrictions put in place in March to limit the spread of Covid-19, both the construction and motor sectors experienced some of the largest falls in new firms being set up.
However, bucking the trend, the financial intermediation sector experienced unique growth in start-ups during the period, with an increase of 22pc during March and April, totalling 586 start-ups to date this year.
Christine Cullen, MD of CRIF Vision-net, said: "It may not come as a complete surprise that we have experienced a decline in start-ups since the beginning of the pandemic.
"Even in the best of times, the survival of a start-up isn't guaranteed and the current climate is certainly not one that fosters growth and development."
A "robust" recovery strategy for the start-up community, that encourages growth and innovation, needs to be developed, Ms Cullen said.