The heads of some of Jersey's biggest hospitality businesses have made a plea for more financial support after being forced to shut down over the vital Christmas period, in this open letter to Ministers.
"Dear Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers,
"We the undersigned feel we have no option but to write this open letter to you to explain the position our businesses and our industry are now in.
We have been fully shut down for the second time this year, in our busiest month. This will cost our collective industry tens of millions of pounds in sales. The revenue we take in December pays the wages, rent, utilities and other costs through the quiet first quarter till the spring season starts. We have now lost that revenue on top of all our spring and most of our summer revenue for this year, but the costs remain. We did not expect to be shut down again in our most important winter month.
If the island feels it can’t reopen our industry on the 18th December and has to keep us shut down for the whole of December, to protect the island’s population, we ask that the island in return helps protect the people employed in our industry and gives the industry a fighting chance to rebuild when this crisis ends.
As such we ask that the hospitality industry gets the same support that all industries received during the first shut down - and no less. That support was a guaranteed 80% wage co-funding for the period of shut down and for four months afterwards. We therefore ask for the same support up to and including April 2021. This is only what was offered to all other industries in the first lockdown, the 80% support ending in September. We would ask why our industry has only been offered up to 80%, not guaranteed, for the one month of December only and then dropping to the same support as industries not locked down for the period January – April. This is the time of year when our industry will have the least cash flow to support wages and costs having lost December.
We have seen other jurisdictions understand that forcing hospitality to shut down again requires more support than just payroll co-funding. In the UK all industries shut down by tiers have received grants based on their rates. In France the President has announced that all hospitality venues forced to shut in second lockdowns will receive aid equal to 20% of their 2019 turnover while shut down on top of wage support. Jersey has offered no extra support for the industry while suffering a second shut down. We would ask that the support is made available equally for all employers in respect of employees satisfying the relevant criteria and, like the UK and France, is not subject to complex conditions based on individual circumstances of each business.
As an industry we have been forced to close for the good of the island. We now ask that the island steps up to support our people and our industry so we can be here in the future to welcome you and our island’s tourists, who spend so much in Jersey every year. Without this support jobs will be lost, businesses will be lost and irreparable damage will be done to our industry.
Signed on behalf of our businesses and staff,
Luxury Jersey Hotels: The Atlantic Hotel, The Club Hotel & Spa, Hotel de France and Ayush Spa, Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa, St Brelade’s Bay Hotel, The Royal Yacht Hotel & Spa, Chateau La Chaire, L’Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa
Liberation Group: Cock & Bottle, Five Oaks Eating House, Hugo’s, Halkett Pub & Eating House, Le Hocq, Old Court House Inn, Post Horn, St Mary's Country Inn, Seaton Place Social, The Bar & Canteen, The Square, Trinity Arms, White Horse, Aurora / Benfica, Caesarea, Farmers Inn, Gloster Vaults, Green Rooster, Horse & Hound, Jambo's, Legends, Mitre Hotel (Blue Note Bar), Office, Peirson, Robin Hood, Rozel Bay, Corner House (S Bar), Seymour Inn, Soleil Levant, Spice of Life, St Johns Inn, St Laurent, Sugareef, Tanguy's, The Parade, The Troubadour, Trafalgar, Union Inn, Up & Down Bar, Victoria in the Valley, Wellington
Randalls: Adelphi, Chambers, Earl Grey, Mont Felard, Pembroke, St Aubins Sports Bar, The Tenby, Admiral, La Hacienda, Bacchus, Britannia Bars, Goose on the Green, Airmex, Les Fontaines Tavern, Old Portelet Inn, Priory, So Bar, Sir George Carteret, Boat House, Earl Granville, Kitty O'Shea's, Temple Bars, Rojo Nightclub, Bagot Inn, Anchor Club, Dog & Sausage, Oaklands, Prince of Wales Tavern, Prince of Wales Hotel, Royal St Martin, Tivoli Tavern, Bellagio, Daily Globe, Dorset Tavern, Lamplighter, New Park Hotel, Ce Soir, Shipwright, Princes Bar, The Farm House, Blind Pig
JP Restaurants: Banjo, Oyster Box, Jersey Crab Shack St Brelade, Jersey Crab Shack St Helier, Jersey Crab Shack Gorey, Café Ubé Liberation Station, Café Ubé Colomberie, Café Ubé King Street, Café Ube Jersey Airport, The Bar Jersey Airport
Dolan Hotels: Golden Sands Hotel, Somerville Hotel, Hotel Cristina"