The Government has this morning unveiled £180million worth of emergency support for businesses to tackle cashflow difficulties presented by the outbreak of covid-19.
To bolster businesses affected by loss of trade or lack of staff, the Government proposes backing up banks giving new loans to businesses and creating a ‘Special Situations’ fund for bigger businesses – each with £50million worth of equity.
Both of these measures still need the approval of the States Assembly and the Treasury Minister Deputy Susie Pinel will be bringing this to Members “as a matter of urgency”.
An emergency fund for small businesses is also being considered.
These measures – which were discussed at yesterday’s Emergencies Council meeting – are proposed to go on top of initiatives announced last week including the deferral of social security contributions and GST payments.
Senator Lyndon Farnham, Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture said: “The Government’s central aim in managing coronavirus is to follow a community-focused approach, led by detailed medical advice, designed to protect our community and save lives.
“Support for business is support for people, protecting jobs, lives and livelihoods. We will stand firmly behind our economy, our businesses and their employees.”
Pictured: Senator Lyndon Farnham, Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture.
The proposed measures include a Jersey Disruption Loan Guarantee Scheme to support new bank lending, through loans and overdrafts, to businesses. In order to allay banks’ concerns about new lending to businesses during a period of economic uncertainty, the Government will be guaranteeing these loans up to an initial value of £50million.
A Special Situations Fund, also worth £50million, is also proposed. The Government say this is aimed at larger financial positions where the company can be clearly identified as delivering a wider public good or strategic purpose.
Pictured: Government promise support for local businesses.
The Emergencies Council is also considering a small business emergency fund to provide additional support to the self-employed. Work on this is reportedly in progress and the Minister intends to make a further announcement on this in the coming days.
In terms of wider measures to ease financial burdens during the outbreak, the Government has announced the following:
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