President of the Collectivité Daniel Gibbs.
MARIGOT–President of the Collectivité Daniel Gibbs has expanded on the announcement of aid measures by President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis by saying he will propose to the Territorial Council the setting up of an emergency fund of five million euros.
This to be added to the Solidarity Fund for very small St. Martin businesses and the self-employed. The aid measure was announced by the State as 1,500 euros per month, but Gibbs said he and his team have decided to multiply this by 10 as participation from the Collectivité.
Thus, the relief fund will amount to 800,000 euros including the amount contributed by the Collectivité from its budget.
“More than 500 companies will be able to benefit from this aid,” he said in an address to the population. “Of course, the Collectivité is ready to go beyond this forecast, if necessary. I wanted the collective effort to be at the level of the crisis we are going through and the difficulties you are encountering. It took us several days of active work with my teams to identify the margin we have to support you as effectively as possible.
“In addition to the measures announced by the French government, our only objective is to give you the means to maintain your cash flow to avoid as much as possible business from closing, and to protect jobs.
“Considering our specific status, we are doing our outmost to ensure the eligibility of our territory so that you can benefit from all the emergency measures put in place by the State and the Collectivité.”
He added all regions of France and overseas Collectivités are still awaiting answers as to the methods of application for the national aid measures and expected this would be clarified in a few days by the government.
Immediate actions locally include accelerating payments to the majority of suppliers and service providers of the Collectivité. Services of the Public Treasury have been mobilised since the beginning of the crisis to make payments that can be honoured.
“Almost six million euros will respond to the emergency that we are experiencing collectively,” Gibbs continued. “Let us not forget that we still have many challenges to overcome in order to improve our infrastructure, our public spaces and our living environment. We must therefore keep the public investment to the maximum capacity that is necessary for the development of our economy.
“Of course, we will have to go further, together. The successive crises that we have experienced in recent years, in recent months, force us to rethink the objectives that we share for the economic development of St. Martin. I plan to use this time to reflect and consult with the main representatives of the economic sector.
“Beyond the measures necessary to support our businesses, our collective duty is to make every effort to overcome this crisis which concerns us all. I applaud the commitment of the people mobilised daily to resolve it, in particular the front-line health personnel and administrative personnel who are entirely devoted to the preparation of the territory.”
Gibbs said he would also be proposing a series of measures to postpone the payment deadlines for direct and indirect taxes for businesses in difficulty. This will include payment of the turnover tax TGCA and the corporate tax to be postponed until December 31, 2020. The payment of the patients’ contribution will be postponed to 2021.
He praised the commitment of citizens in following the instructions to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.
“Family support, everyone’s good citizenship and everyone’s full responsibility must be at the heart of this collective fight. I therefore ask each of you to follow confinement and hygiene barrier measures with the greatest seriousness. They are currently our only defence against the virus.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/gibbs-pledges-up-to-6m-euros-in-emergency-financial-measures