12 March 2020
Senator Lyndon Farnham, the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, with the support of the Social Security Minister and the Treasury Minister, has announced a series of measures to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on the Island economy, including:
- deferring the payment of social security contributions;
- the deferral of GST payments; and
- where the Government is a landlord to a local business (directly or through a Government-owned company), to consider payment deferrals.
Senator Farnham said: "We have a robust economy and secure public finances. Coronavirus will have a significant impact on our economy, but it will only be temporary.
"In addition to the steps above, the Minister for External Relations and his team have reconfirmed support from the local banking sector for Islanders and businesses. The public should expect to see messages from local banks in the next few days outlining their specific measures of support. We want to encourage early dialogue between banks and their customers, and would hope to see practical solutions offered, including the possibility of enhanced overdraft and loan availability, and capital repayment holidays."
The Government will also support Jersey Business with top-up funding, to ensure additional resources are available with practical advice and support on the actions that businesses can take to prepare for the economic challenges as a result of coronavirus. This could include a review of larger business obligations, including rent and financial commitments, with a view to achieving a negotiated delay or reduction in repayments. Business owners and managers should be looking carefully at all elements of their cost base, review their insurance cover arrangements and take advice from human resources, legal and financial experts to assist in making difficult decisions that might lie ahead.
Senator Farnham said: "The Coronavirus Business Liaison Group will continue to meet regularly, to understand the continuing impact on businesses, and ensure appropriate Government support is available."