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The Channel Islands
Islands in the English Channel (between Britain and mainland Europe). They're British, but are not part of the United Kingdom. This and other interesting facts give the Channel Islands special status, and they are much more prosperous places financially than if they'd just been lumped in with France or the UK.
The Channel Islands include: Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, and a few other places. Some are easier to visit than others. However, having a Tax Haven status is very important to the island economy of these places. Banks are keen to set up there, and other companies have various tax advantages, for example in the VAT.
The Channel Islands are not tropical islands, but they are significantly warmer than most of Britain. There's a British seaside essence to some of the locations. The tourist industry does quite well, but it used to do even better before tourists discovered they could jet off to the Dominican Republic, etc.
Some of the companies featured at Zyra's website are based in the Channel Islands. Here are some helpful links to some of them:
Jersey Plants - the plants probably grow very well in the warm climate of Jersey, and are available for delivery throughout the UK.
HSBC Offshore - the well-known international bank HSBC, with tax haven status in Jersey.
Legs 11 - no it's not Bingo. It's stockings and tights. Based in Jersey.
Rip101 - online surf shop in Guernsey
Blue Square - gambling casino and sportsbook registered in Alderney
Blooming Direct - horticulture in Jersey
Powerplay Direct - CDs and DVDs supplied at an advantage as the company is based in Guernsey
Health Monthly - online health store with HQ in St Helier, Jersey
Circus Casino - online casino based in Alderney
Sea Fishing Supplies - International delivery of fishing tackle, from Guernsey
Postal Plants - gardening supplies sent by post from the island of Jersey
7 Day Shop - spend a week looking around it in Guernsey
Parisma - Italian designer handbags, via Jersey
Valueflora - some of the flowers are grown on a farm in Guernsey
UK Tool Centre - in Jersey
Golden Hat Bingo - offshore bingo and other online gaming, in Alderney
and then there's a few others that have (temporarily) gone...
Himalaya Herbal Healthcare - Jersey
Bargain Balls - sports shop in St Helier, Jersey
Postal iPod Direct
Other useful contacts:
Condor Ferries - as a way of getting to some of the Channel Islands
easy car - car hire - Jersey and Guernsey are mentioned
Air Southwest - similarly, but by air
Jet2 Flights - ditto
With the move towards Online Business, companies based in the Channel Islands have an advantage which overcomes the difficulty that they're surrounded by sea. Online, they can trade with the world, while still having the tax advantages of being based in the Channel Islands. Don't knock it; Tax Havens are Good. Plus, it's practical to deliver to the UK and to mainland Europe from locations in the Channel Islands, as they're all quite close together. The tax advantages for customers buying from the Channel Islands are considerable, including a saving on VAT.
If you decide to go on holiday to Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, or one of the other Channel islands, remember to get your Travel Insurance arranged before you go! The thing is, the UK's NHS coverage does not apply in the Channel Islands. (That's with the new arrangement as of 2009/04/01, here there's no reciprocal health-cover arrangement between the UK and the Channel Islands (also the Isle of Man)). Also, even if you've got a European health cover card, it won't count in the Channel Islands as the Channel Islands are not part of the European Union! So, you should get your Travel Insurance sorted out with a company so you're covered against accidental ill-health while on holiday.