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Spend local now...or be taxed later

Spend local now...or be taxed later

Monday 23 March 2020

Spend local now...or be taxed later


The last week has been one no one will forget. Far away, worry never really hits our remote sanctuary - but this time, reality has hit hard and fast.

Self-isolation, social distancing, school closures: it is understandable to worry.

While the present is an obvious concern, an Island community must also think of the future. I’ve been part of too many sobering discussions this week.

There are so many industries at risk: hospitality, travel, fishermen, manual workers, the list goes on. Businesses are being irreversibly affected now.

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Pictured: The fishing industry is one which is particularly at risk.

It is time for our community to be proactive rather than reactive. It is easy to focus on the worry, it is right to be concerned, but living in the now and ignoring the future is equally concerning. Do any one of us not know a family immediately affected by the economic downturn? Now is the time for action.

Many of our Islanders need to take immediate and desperate steps to prepare for the coming months, others do not, it is a simple and undeniable fact. The latter category is who I am aiming this article at. If finding loo rolls is your biggest concern, think about those that are worried about how they are going to feed their family or pay the rent.

For those that have any form of means, it is a time to spend, not to hoard. If you want Jersey to be the same place in 6 months time, you need to act now. If hotels, restaurants, manual workers, fishermen, zero-hours workers and any other at-risk people fail during this crisis, the services they provide won’t miraculously come back when we’ve eventually resurfaced. The government has quickly acted to release a £180 million support package to try and keep the island's businesses afloat during the corona virus pandemic, but Islanders need to add to this sum.

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Pictured: Rory Steel says that we "need to act now".

If you are able, what are you doing?! I’ve contacted a fisherman friend and ordered, from him and his colleagues, a seafood Mother's Day dinner. I’m going to order meals from many of the restaurants I love by using their new delivery services. I have friends that have asked skilled labourers to do those jobs that have been on the back burner since January as an over-optimistic resolution to fix the house up.

People are buying vouchers for future activities that put money in the pocket of the local businesses. If you can, spend now to preserve the future. Waiting will be detrimental; it will only increase unemployment which will ultimately cost you in the long term anyway.

Spend now to enjoy one of our many of our exceptional Island offerings, or be taxed later to fill the void of the economic underspend.

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Pictured: We must "spend now to preserve the future".

In short, our community needs to come together to try and help overcome adversity. In my own sectors, educationalists are desperate to help each other, digital companies have held numerous webinars to come up with innovative solutions to support local industry. I’ve seen so many other altruistic offerings on social media. It is understandable to panic in uncertain times but we need to overcome fear and help preserve our way of life, not by retreating but by supporting.

Spend your own hard-earned cash to help those that are simply looking to survive. If your Easter holiday has been cancelled, book a staycation if you can. Many will have lost out and can’t afford that luxury, however, there are some that can. If you are in that category, it is your civic duty to support Jersey or we will never be the same again. Act now.

Make no mistake, this is a call to arms. Ignore it and Jersey will be changed forever.

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