And local banks are said to formulating plans to support Islanders and businesses as the worldwide pandemic continues to take hold.
Senator Lyndon Farnham, with the support of Social Security Minister Judy Martin and Treasury Minister Susie Pinel, has announced some key actions, including:
• deferring the payment of social security contributions
• the deferral of GST payments
• where the government is a landlord to a local business (directly or through a government-owned company) to consider payment deferrals
Senator Farnham said: ‘We have a robust economy and secure public finances. Coronavirus will have a significant impact on our economy, but it will only be temporary.
‘In addition to the steps above, the Minister for External Relations and his team have reconfirmed support from the local banking sector for Islanders and businesses. The public should expect to see messages from local banks in the next few days outlining their specific measures of support. We want to encourage early dialogue between banks and their customers, and would hope to see practical solutions offered, including the possibility of enhanced overdraft and loan availability, and capital repayment holidays.’
The government has also pledged to support Jersey Business with top-up funding to ensure additional resources are available with practical advice and support on the actions that businesses can take to prepare for the economic challenges as a result of coronavirus.
Business owners and managers are being advised to look carefully at all elements of their cost base, review their insurance cover arrangements and take advice from human resources, legal and financial experts to assist in making difficult decisions that might lie ahead.
Senator Farnham said: ‘The Coronavirus Business Liaison Group will continue to meet regularly, to understand the continuing impact on businesses, and ensure appropriate government support is available.’