Jersey’s government has announced a £180 million package of measures to support local businesses.
The Jersey Disruption Loan Guarantee Scheme will be introduced to support new bank landing, through loans and overdrafts, to businesses through a Government of Jersey guarantee arrangement. £50m will be put into the scheme initially, to help otherwise viable businesses struggling to extend their bank borrowing.
A New Special Situations Fund will be set up with a further £50 million of equity.It will be aimed at larger financial positions where the company ‘ can be clearly identified as delivering a wider public good or strategic purpose.’
Both measures will need States Assembly approval, and a proposal will be tabled urgently.
In Guernsey, the measures announced include:
- Deferral of Social Insurance;
- Deferral of Commercial TRP;
- Deferral of rent payments to the States of Guernsey by business tenants;
- Suspension of mooring fees for commercial fishermen;
- Establishment of a scheme to support banks in providing liquidity to businesses;
- Establishment of a £5m ‘hardship’ fund
Deputy Gavin St Pier, President of Guernsey’s Policy & Resources Committee said:
“The immediate area of concern is the cash flow problems that many businesses will be suffering. Therefore the aim is to provide immediate relief to enable businesses to continue to trade through the worst periods.
It is important for the States to be leading from the front and setting the right example. This has informed some of the measures announced. The measures are predominantly aimed at small and medium sized companies and will also importantly help other businesses including small traders.
At this early stage the recommendation is to proceed on a ‘suspend and defer’ basis rather than waive obligations, in order to get the measures in place quickly. Things have moved so very quickly in the last 7 days, we need more time to properly understand the impact and its length so we can respond appropriately. However it is acknowledged that there is likely to be a requirement to revisit this at a later stage as the situation unfolds, and that further targeted measures for specific sectors may well be needed. Work is continuing to assess these potential future measures.”