he Chamber of Commerce recently revealed that businesses and entrepreneurs on the island feel that the amount of ‘red tape’ involved in setting up a business and running it here is too high, hindering growth.
From my experience, this is true, but a bigger concern to me is the lack of investment in our people.
As someone wanting to start a business, the incentives available publicly are pathetically minimal.
Where is the investment from government in innovative companies?
We were led to believe that there was £100m in an economic strategy fund to drive ambition and help stimulate private investment.
Yet the only assistance available I can see remains micro-business grants that wouldn’t cover a month’s expenses of a serious start-up, and financial assistance schemes requiring businesses to already have the capital somehow and then claim it back through many forms and hours of government intervention – only to receive around 40% of the sum. Other grants available are equally unambitious.
The UK has business grants and loans, a national innovation agency and investments in UK companies.
Where is the commitment to supporting the island’s most ambitious people?
If someone comes to government with a great idea, a solid plan, and a need for funding, the government should giddy up and give it a chance.
The government must invest more in our entrepreneurs and our ability to be an innovation centre. Let’s start by using the £100m fund to invest in innovation.
Name and address supplied
This letter was first published in the Isle of Man Examiner of July 4
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