18 March 2020
Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture Senator Lyndon Farnham:
We are doing everything we can to support businesses, and the measures we’re taking today will provide £180 million worth of support for our Island economy.
Support for business is support for people, protecting jobs, lives and livelihoods during this crisis.
We will stand firmly behind our economy, our businesses and their employees.
The package of support includes:
- £50 million in a new Jersey Disruption Loan Guarantee Scheme, to provide Government guaranteed bank lending and overdrafts to businesses;
- A Special Situations Fund to support larger businesses who are delivering a wider public good or strategic purpose, with up to £50 million of equity;
- The Emergencies Council have asked for consideration to be given to a small business emergency fund, to provide additional grant support to the self-employed and the very smallest of businesses;
- Deferral of Social Security contributions and GST payments are estimated to be worth £80 million in cashflow benefits to business;
- Deferrals or rent renegotiations, where the Government is the landlord are happening now. We are also seeking commitment by commercial landlords to do the same;
- We have asked utility companies to work alongside Government by giving customers flexibility in their payment terms, including payment deferrals; and
- All telecoms providers have today committed to upgrade all users to 1 Gigabit broadband, at no extra charge, to support families in self-isolation or social distancing, and those working from home.
The measures announced today reflect the gravity of the situation and determination of Government to provide political, financial and practical support to Islanders.
We are working on further proposals.
We are facing economic challenges that we have not faced since the Occupation.
Given the changing nature of the crisis, many businesses, and their employees, do not know what is going to happen from one day to another.
But, we have a robust economy and we have secure public finances.
Support for business is support for people.
My advice to Islanders is to exercise good common sense, to follow the most up to date health advice, and within those guidelines to support your local economy as much as you possibly can.