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States to establish payroll co-sharing and grants to support businesses and the self-employed

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Tuesday 24 March 2020

Thousands of Island businesses and self-employed workers will receive further financial support from the States following the establishment of a Guernsey Payroll Co-Sharing Scheme and a grant scheme, announced today by the Policy & Resources Committee.

As a first step businesses are asked to send their details to business.support@gov.gg to register for the new measures.

Following the States' approval on Friday of the initial package of measures to support businesses through the crisis, the fast evolving picture has led to much work being devoted to identifying further potential measures. These measures have been informed by extensive feedback from various individual businesses and business representative bodies.

The critical area of focus, and aspect of financial support, has been around helping businesses retain employees on their books. For the ongoing financial well-being of the Bailiwick it is important that businesses are well positioned to resume trading as soon as conditions allow.

Deputy Lyndon Trott, Vice-President of the Policy & Resources Committee, who is leading the economic support measures on behalf of the Committee, said:

"It is critical that measures agreed are able to be communicated and implemented almost immediately, given many businesses are fast running out of time to delay critical decisions on their ongoing trading plans and future of their workforce. For that reason, measures also need to be simple to implement and administer to avoid critical delays to businesses accessing this support.

"The Coronavirus Payroll Co-funding Scheme will enable the States to support businesses in the way that many of them have requested - providing funding to keep employees in post, ensuring they are ready to support businesses when they enter the recovery phase.

"The scheme also helps individuals stay in employment. It means that they and their families retain an income, which provides some comfort and support during this challenging time for all of us."

The Coronavirus Payroll Co-funding Scheme will work in the following way:

The number of businesses that could potentially qualify is estimated at c.1,700 with total employees of 10,500. Not all of these businesses will claim as some may decide to stop trading completely and lay off staff, whereas some may also be able to continue trading close to normal via diversification.

A further measure confirmed is the award of a £3,000 grant to all businesses and the self-employed with fewer than 10 employees which is designedas additional support to these smaller businesses to be utilised in whichever way they deem appropriate. Larger employers will be able to access the Coronavirus Payroll Co-funding Scheme.

Deputy Trott commented:

"The Policy Letter presented to the States of Deliberation last week made initial reference to establishing a hardship allocation for businesses to provide targeted support primarily to enable them to retain employees. An amount of £5m was suggested at that time. The further work since then and escalating situation has revealed that substantially more support is required to help businesses through the crisis.

"It is important we get as much support to our businesses and self-employed as possible. These are further steps today, and by the end of the week we expect to be in a position to confirm the establishment of a loan finance guarantee scheme with the banks, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

"No single step will solve the economic shock. But taken together the measures we have put in place will support businesses and the self-employed in providing cashflow, reducing cost and helping them stay on their feet to plan for recover."

The upper end estimate of the financial costs for both measures is £41m.

The measures announced today are in addition to those announced on Wednesday 18 March:

More information at https://gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=123531&p=0

Changes have also been made to the population management approach to support workers with permits: https://gov.gg/article/176884/Proactive-Adjustments-to-Population-Management-Regime

Please email business.support@gov.gg for any further information.

Downloads

Updated Coronavirus ('COVID 19') Business Support - 24th March 2020

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