Business support during COVID-19 to be scrutinised

4th February 2021

​The Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel has launched a review into the Government’s support for businesses as part of its COVID-19 response. 

On 3 December 2020, the Panel published a report on the Government’s COVID-19 response, including an analysis of support packages made available to businesses at the beginning of the pandemic. The Panel’s latest review will examine the effectiveness of business support packages which have since been extended and/or updated. 

The review will seek to identify: 

  • Whether COVID-19 business support packages are fit for purpose; 
  • If any businesses have been excluded from receiving support; 
  • How rigid are the eligibility criteria for access to support; and 
  • Whether additional support is likely to be required beyond April 2021. 

Business support packages to be examined by the Panel include the Payroll Co-funding Scheme; deferral of GST and Social Security contributions; Business Disruption Loan Guarantee Scheme; Visitor Accommodation Scheme; Events and Attraction Scheme; and the Grant Support Scheme. 

To inform its review, the Panel intends to hold a public hearing with the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture. In addition, the Panel will request submissions via social media and contact a range of businesses for their views. After identifying the key issues for consideration, the Panel will publish its findings and provide the Minister with constructive feedback. 

The Panel’s Chair, Deputy David Johnson, said: “We are following up on our previous review of the COVID-19 response by focusing on the support packages made available to businesses. We have chosen to focus on the experiences of self-employed people because we know that  many have experienced particular business problems during the crisis and have expressed concerns to us and in the media about accessing support from the government.” 

Islanders are encouraged to share their views with the Panel by: 

  1. Completing the ‘Get involved’ form on the States Assembly website 

  2. Emailing 

  3. Messaging the States Assembly social media pages

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