Some sectors not included in Stage 2 funding support

AS more businesses will be able to bounce back in Stage 2 of the exit from lockdown, the level of States support will reduce.

Deputy Mark Helyar is the treasury lead for the island's senior committee, Policy & Resources. (29273819)
Deputy Mark Helyar is the treasury lead for the island's senior committee, Policy & Resources. (29273819)

Policy & Resources has reviewed and agreed the business support measures it will provide going forward, once the Bailiwick moves into Stage 2 of its exit from lockdown.

Expecting that Stage 2 will allow 'considerably more scope' for businesses to operate in a normal or near-normal way, fewer businesses and sectors will be in need of taxpayer support.

P&R will also remove the support recovery clause that was announced alongside the original support measures brought in for this lockdown.

While the committee has listened to representations from the business community about their concerns, it deemed that support should only be provided to the extend that it is 'genuinely needed', as the strain on public finances 'continues to grow'.

Analysis of 2020 performance showed which sectors were able to rebound quickly following the original lockdown period.

Therefore, P&R has decided to remove several sectors from being eligible for support on the move to Stage 2, meaning support will be available to a narrower list of business sectors.

These sectors are based on those that were found to be most in need of ongoing support as the Bailiwick exited its first lockdown in 2020 and include firms such as restaurants, bars, nightclubs, personal services like hairdressers or beauty salons and most non-essential retail.

This is subject to the same turnover qualifying thresholds used in 2020. A full list of sector states can be found at covid19.gov.gg/guidance/business.

To support businesses that were hit hardest in Stage 1, P&R has agreed to expand the current payroll co-funding scheme to allow businesses to claim up to 100% minimum wage for their employees from 1 March 2021 where they can demonstrate that they are trading at well-below their normal levels.

Treasury lead for P&R Deputy Mark Helyar said getting the level of support right was crucial to economic support and recovery.

'We want to support viable businesses and get them through this period, because we want them in a position to bounce back as quickly as possible.

'That’s the best thing for our wider economy, but that has to be balanced against the need to keep spending under tight control.

'We have listened to and understood businesses’ concerns and so we’re withdrawing the right to clawback for legitimate funding and instead concentrating on those sectors which really need support through Stage 2.'

This will be kept under review.

'If we find there are sectors struggling in ways we hadn’t expected, we’ll look at those again and business representatives should continue to make representations where they feel there is need.

'We have good data on which sectors recovered quickly in 2020 and even improved on their previous year’s performance so have more insight as to likely areas of need.'

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