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Lockdown: What can we expect in terms of business support this time round?

Lockdown: What can we expect in terms of business support this time round?

Tuesday 26 January 2021

Lockdown: What can we expect in terms of business support this time round?


Local businesses, big and small, have once again been hit by a corona virus triggered lockdown, and many people are unable to work for an indefinite period of time.

The pay roll co-funding measures offered during the first lockdown will be reinstated to help support struggling businesses in the island.

The States of Guernsey has issued a strong message to the island community, which is simply to not go out. 

“Our message is simple and clear - stay at home,” said Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority.

“We have taken decisive action to go into an immediate lockdown to slow the spread of the virus. We have published guidance to help businesses make decisions around their operations.”

heidi soulsby covid breifing panel 23Jan2021

Pictured: Deputy Heidi Soulsby said the States are aware of those unable to work, during the latest media briefing.

The restrictions mean all non-essential workers must work from home. A comprehensive list of what is considered essential or non-essential can be found online.

Many people cannot simply work from home and will be struggling to pay staff, pay themselves and stay afloat.

“Some people are unable to work,” said Deputy Heidi Soulsby, Civil Contingencies Authority Advisor, “and we need to address that.”

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Pictured: The States of Guernsey have tried to clarify what is considered non-essential.

The CCA will be looking at new payroll co-funding measures, based on the system that was in place for the previous lockdown.

“I should like to give re-assurance that this will include sole-traders and the self-employed,” said Deputy Soulsby. 

As far as a timeline goes, it can’t come soon enough for some business owners, who need to prepare for end of the month wages.

“It’s important that I get help or business support this week,” said Auburn Gardens Business Owner, Jack Etheridge. "It’s the end of the month and I have four members of staff to pay.”

Mr Etheridge does however commend the States on its decisive move to lock the island down again, and is confident that he, like many others, will be supported.

“We haven’t heard anything from the States yet, but I trust that it’s coming,” he said.

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Pictured: Mr Etheridge agrees that his landscaping business is non-essential, but is concerned for his staff who are now not working.

During the media briefing on Sunday, Deputy Soulsby gave a rough time frame for business support and further updates.

“I can say that our aim is to enable businesses to claim from 1 February, for the week commencing 25 January.”

“As we all know, public finances are already under real pressure, so we’ll be looking at ensuring this support goes to those who genuinely need it.”

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