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Jersey Chamber of Commerce

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Update from Chamber 27/03/2020

Mar 27, 2020


Hello from Jersey Chamber HQ Here is the Friday update.


Updates

Chamber engagement today has been centred around discussions with the Government team involved in the phases of Payroll Co-Funding, alongside Jersey Business, Law at Work and the IoD. The unclear areas will need more work and the understanding is that the team are doing everything they can, but there is a limit on funds available and the understanding is that Government does not have the funds to help every business.

The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré has announced further closure measures to ensure strict social distancing to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The following businesses should close to the public with immediate effect:

  • Hair salons and barbers
  • Nail bars
  • Beauty parlours
  • Tattoo and piercing studios
  • Laser and cosmetic clinics delivering non-essential cosmetic treatments

In addition, any establishment which serves food on-premises should close to the public, but businesses which offer takeaway services can continue to provide food for delivery by following new guidelines

The Government has rolled out a new Payroll Co-funding Scheme at a further £101m in costs for April, May and June. It appears they do listen…


Chamber issued a strong statement yesterday, as requested by a huge amount of our members. It was a big call to action for the Government, read the statement HERE.

Our take:

The Chamber welcomes the enhanced support from Senator Farnham and the team from Government. Getting up to £1600 per month will assist greatly. As the Senator has said himself, it has been too slow for his liking, but we must recognise this a significant amount of support for businesses and was what we at Chamber have been asking for, for some time. We were keen that the amount should reflect the living wage based on 35 hours and the Government have done that, for which we have received calls already thanking Government and us. The key for businesses will be the speed of getting cash support. The new support of funding of up to £1600 to an estimated 27,000 people will not arrive to employers until the first week in May, but now it does finally mean businesses can do accurate forecasting, knowing what they are being supported on and when. For some the difficulties of the time between now and the first week of May will be the greatest.

The new scheme will have some businesses excluded for applying and the method and process of applying are details we do not yet have and are still being worked on, so we will be keen to see the detail, which we understand will be available today.

Clearly the new scheme will not work for everyone or save them from extremely tough times and financial losses. We will work really hard to help all of our members and we will assist individually over the coming weeks with banks, landlords, insurance companies and more. The resources and sage advice that Graeme Smith and his team at Jersey Business give out is worth a call too, so call us or call them, but don’t sit there stressing, reach out.

Over 65’s are now required to stay at home with two hours allowed out for exercise and shopping. You can read the Press Release HERE. The Chief Minister explains the new regulations on this video.


New support from Social Security for those losing jobs:

Social Security announced those with 5 years plus will continue to have support via Income Support for rent and benefits. For those under 5 years (but more than 6 months) there is a new scheme from 1st April to 1st June of a weekly payment of £100 for a claimant with a partner not claiming, £150 for a single person, £200 for a couple who both need to claim and further support with children.

Recently arrived workers with no jobs will get £75pppw. No support is offered for rent but if living in staff accommodation, it is encouraged that their accommodation is provided free for this period. Support will be offered for anyone looking to repatriate under 5 years – Simon at JHA – thank you for writing this part.

The Jersey Society of Chartered and Certified Accountants had thing or two to say to the Government yesterday. The news report is HERE.

Corona Virus Numbers Latest results HERE.

Many of our suppliers attended an Emergencies and Retail Liaison meeting today at 3:30 – online of course. We cannot share all that is discussed but it was reassuring that the businesses involved in that meeting, mostly our supermarkets, are well stocked, hard-working, well prepared and some of the most professional people we know.


Jersey Gas

Valued Chamber members and suppliers to 50% of all businesses in Jersey, Jersey Gas hadn’t been contacted by Government yet and today we’ve introduced several senior government officers to their CFO, Director & Group MD so that both sides can assist each other and you going forward regarding bills and supplies.


DSV

The Global shipping and Logistics company announced an 8% increase on Monday – thank you Nigel at 4Hire Group for telling us. We raised this with Government as a concern immediately as a potential for price rises. We are now, via Government, told that the 8% rise is not happening. I’d like to think we helped there.


Finance Companies

Getting lots of complaints that banks are not entertaining loans and extending overdrafts and some local finance companies are being less than helpful. We hope now businesses are finally seeing some funding plans that they too will see the benefits of supporting businesses though this.

Stories and offers to help if that is your trade, do let me have them.


The Office

Our own VP John Shenton made an appearance on the Channel Islands BBC news with his reaction to the Payroll support and it was on with Ashlea Tracey this morning at 0800.

Helen has been keeping me sane, and updating our website – www.jerseychamber.com which will have all of the reports and press statements as they happen. Thank you to Brian at the Collective for making it run so well.

Another valued member is Paul Murphy form www.onogo.com who sent me this:

This is a long but insightful video from Bill Gates wearing his foundation hat and talking about the infection. It’s a long watch but valuable, I found. I also considered the Jersey actions and the testing opportunity will still have. It’s mentioned within the video and if it’s early enough the impact to lives and to the economy can be greatly reduced. I know there are many views but wanted to share as you may have the opportunity to consider and share with other contacts closer to island decision making.

https://youtu.be/Xe8fIjxicoo


Help

Thanks to Digital Jersey – they’ve published a helpful shopping and home delivery resource on their website, which is getting good traction and feedback, HERE.

They’ve also published a couple of helpful blogs about working from home and remote business meetings HERE.


Feed the Frontline

A great initiative - This is an island wide campaign and donation site to allow islanders and businesses to support healthcare workers on the frontline of our Covid19 response.

At this stage, our health professionals are working tirelessly to get the island through this trying time and there will be even tougher times ahead. For many of them, at the end of a long and often distressing shift, even thinking about buying supplies and preparing a meal for themselves and their families is another huge burden. A burden that we can alleviate. The aim is to provide our healthcare heroes with either a meal for themselves, or their family, funded by a huge collective effort demonstrating the islands gratitude for their dedication to duty. More details from our good friend Simon at www.jerseyhospitality.com

Stay safe, stay at home,

Murray

Murray Norton.

CEO, Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

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