I write to update you with progress on our discussions with politicians and senior civil servants as we collectively look to support our local industry.
Thank you for all of your feedback over the past two weeks, all of which has been relayed to these contacts.
The States are working extremely hard in extraordinary times. The business measures introduced are just the first of these programmes as the States tries to support us through the crisis and also plan for the potential of a longer haul recovery.
The initial measures may not be considered sufficient in some eyes, so our twice weekly discussions focus on flexing the new rules and finding ways for businesses to operate.
Key measures so far include:
Payroll co-funding reimbursement – this offers companies to receive limited salary funding of 80% of the minimum wage. We have just asked for this to be extended to cover sole traders and non-incorporated companies.
Business support set up – grants for small businesses of £3,000. More than 2,000 registrations have been received and initial payments are now being made, which is work that has been fast tracked. Through the efforts of Richard Stapley and Sarah Hancock, we have an FAQ for members to refer to, which can be found on this website, at https://www.thecgi.net/sog-covid-19-business-support-application-helper/
More sectors to be deemed essential – we have asked for this to include commercial cleaning, gardening, some building and horticulture.
Social security payments altered to an actual basis – the current system is nonsensical as current payments are based on 2018 earnings, so we have asked that this is updated.
Delaying States’ legislation – we have recommended that are some new laws should be kicked into the long grass until 2021 – discrimination legislation, secondary pensions, in particular.
We are also pressing the States to provide dates of the next review point when the lockdown will be extended and potentially lifted. Indications are of a four-week extension, two weeks from Tuesday and then a further fortnight after this.
Please do keep talking to us and provide feedback on the support you need.