Business support back with tweaks

FINANCIAL support will again be available to islanders struggling as a result of the lockdown.

P&R’s treasury lead Deputy Mark Helyar said he was keen to see support go to businesses in need. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29185031)
P&R’s treasury lead Deputy Mark Helyar said he was keen to see support go to businesses in need. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29185031)

Policy & Resources yesterday agreed to reinstate the £2.5m. per week payroll co-funding scheme to support businesses not able to trade during the second lockdown.

Access to a £250,000 hardship fund for individuals facing financial difficulties, but who may not be eligible for standard benefit support, has also been re-established. Both are similar to those established in the first lockdown, however, a clause has been introduced by the States in their support package for businesses to enable them to recover the funds given if they find they ultimately make a profit this year.

Eligible sectors where trade will be heavily restricted is being targeted by the payroll co-funding scheme, similar to that in the early parts of the first lockdown.

This included sectors such as the hospitality and tourism industry, event management and event services, personal service activities such as hairdressers, and non-food and non-pharmacy retail.

The scheme will also be open to sole traders and the self-employed up to a maximum of 42 hours per week of their work hours.

P&R’s treasury lead Deputy Mark Helyar said that he was keen to see this go to businesses in need.

‘We’re hoping this will be a relatively short, sharp lockdown that allows us to get on top of the cases we’re seeing, bring them under control and see us quickly return to the good situation we were in last week,’ he said.

‘In the meantime we need to help many businesses cope with not being able to trade, for the sake of them and their employees and for the wider economy.

‘At the same time we’re saying to businesses that bounced back from the previous lockdown, and expect to do so again this time, to think hard about whether they really need support through this scheme before making a claim.’

The payroll co-funding scheme will enable eligible businesses to receive 80% of the minimum wage – which is now £8.70 per hour – for their employees, requiring them to top up the other 20% as a minimum.

Businesses will be able to apply from 1 February in order to claim for the period commencing 23 January, with payments due to be made on a monthly basis using the automated online claims process.

Those that do get co-funding support will have their details published by the States.

Both financial support packages, the payroll co-funding scheme and the hardship fund, will remain under review.

  • Individuals wanting to seek support from the hardship fund should email hardshipfund@gov.gg or call 732516.

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