Coronavirus: £180m support package to keep Jersey businesses afloat

A £180 million support package will be provided by Jersey's government to try and keep the island's businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

This will include help to sole traders and small enterprises. The government says the measures will allow for continued employment across the economy.

£50 million is initially being set-aside in a Disruption Loan Guarantee Scheme, which will allow banks to provide new loans and overdrafts to businesses struggling to keep trading.

A further £50 million of equity will be provided into a 'Special Situations Fund.'

The measures still need approving by the States Assembly with the Treasury Minister bringing forward a proposition as a matter of urgency.

A small business emergency fund could also be created to provide more support to those who are self-employed and the smallest firms in the island.

The government have already announced that GST, Social Security contributions and rent payments for States' properties are being deferred.

Senator Farnham also says work been underway to ensure there is additional resilience in Jersey's supply chain with Condor making improvements to the island's freight capacity.

Telecoms providers have also enhanced their data capability and strengthened mobile and broadband networks for increased home-working.

On top of that, the government are said to be working with utility companies in the island to give flexibility to customers including payment deferrals.