The Bailiwick of Guernsey entered into Phase 5 of the exit from lockdown on Saturday 20th June, meaning that most sectors went back to normal trading. However, there are some sectors that continue to be heavily affected by the Coronavirus, including businesses providing visitor accommodation. Therefore, additional support is available for that sector.
On the 26th June a grant scheme was announced, specifically for businesses that provide visitor accommodation. This scheme was to be introduced with effect from 1st July 2020, with the first payments in early August, relating to July. However the introduction is being moved back to 1st October.
The decision to delay the introduction of the scheme follows concerns expressed by members of the industry that they have had insufficient time to prepare for the move away from a payroll funding scheme to the new visitor accommodation grant scheme.
For this reason, the payroll co-funding scheme will continue to be made available for visitor accommodation businesses until 30 September. After this date, for those businesses, the payroll co-funding scheme will be replaced with a new visitor accommodation grant scheme and eligible businesses are required to apply for this scheme well in advance of the start date.
The overall cost of supporting this sector was estimated to be £6.5m under the plans announced on 26th June. However, the 3 month extension to the end of September for the payroll co-funding scheme has meant the amount available to the grant scheme will need to be reviewed and in all likelihood revised.
The scheme will be launched for claims from 10th August, and businesses have 3 weeks to submit their claims by the 31st August, after which it will be closed to any new claims. The reason for this deadline is that time is needed to carry out further analysis to finalise the value of each of the grants. The intention is to notify businesses of their eligibility and value of grant in advance of the 1st October start date.