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COVID-19 Update (19.03.20)

COVID-19 Update (19.03.20)

As the Island’s capital and centre of business and retail activity, St Helier has a role in supporting and promoting retail, hospitality and business across the Parish. The Constable and Parish Officers have been in contact with the business community over recent days as the situation has developed, listening to their concerns and needs. The Constable welcomes the Government’s recently announced £180 million support package for businesses, together with arrangements for deferring payment of social security contributions and GST payments, which will provide much needed support to Islanders and businesses.

Having listened to local businesses, the Constable is encouraging residents to shop local and support local businesses. He is pleased to announce that the Parish will, with immediate effect, be further supporting and promoting local businesses.

Throughout the developing situation, health experts have told us of the importance of social distancing. The Constable will waive ‘al fresco fees’, for April and May, for those hospitality establishments providing an al fresco service, so that customers can take advantage of outside space and seating to practice social distancing, whilst still enjoying a drink, snack or meal.

Home delivery, whether of groceries, cooked food, or other supplies, has become increasingly important for those self-isolating or social distancing. Recognising that those providing this home delivery service are finding it difficult to find somewhere to stop and unload their deliveries in some areas of the town, the Parish is introducing a free permit that will allow home delivery drivers to stop safely and deliver without paying for parking or risking a parking fine. Those operating this type of home delivery service should contact the Town Hall on 811811 or townhall@posh.gov.je.

Unfortunately, the Parish has had to cancel a number of planned events, where local suppliers had already been booked and arranged to provide goods or services. The Parish is working with these suppliers to arrange for their services to be supplied at a future time, rather than seeking refunds, thus keeping the cash in the pockets of local businesses and residents. The Parish is also working hard to issue refunds to independent vendors who had paid for sites at events, ensuring their money is back where it should be in these difficult times.

The Parish is paying local suppliers immediately upon receipt on invoices, rather than taking up the normal credit terms offered by suppliers. This means paying our bills quickly and getting the cash to local suppliers and residents, helping to support their cash flow.

The Parish is working with local businesses, Jersey Retail, Visit Jersey and others, to promote and support local businesses that are offering new services, particularly home delivery and services for Islanders who are in self-isolation or social distancing. Please visit the Parish website, www.sthelier.je, to see the amazing range of services on offer. This is a fantastic example of Jersey businesses adapting quickly to meet the needs of those living in St Helier and across the whole Island.

Simon Crowcroft, Constable of St Helier, said, “We have listened to local businesses in St Helier and responded to what they’ve told us. This package of very practical immediate measures works alongside and complements Government’s proposals, providing support for our businesses and Islanders’ livelihoods, as well as helping to meet the needs of St Helier residents in this difficult time.”

The Constable continued, “I know from conversations with parishioners and businesses that there are also concerns about this year’s rates bills. Rates bills are, of course, not due for several months yet. However, I understand these concerns and will be discussing them with my fellow Constables over the coming days and weeks.”