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Manx Gov't To Sign Off On Inward Investment Promotion Fund

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
13 October, 2015

Plans for a new GBP50m (USD76m) Enterprise Development Scheme (EDS) in the Isle of Man will go before the island's Parliament, the Tynwald, for approval this month.

The scheme was announced by Chief Minister Allan Bell at July's sitting of Tynwald and will provide grant, loan, and equity investment to eligible businesses creating jobs on the island. This support will be available to a wide range of businesses including new Isle of Man start-ups, existing expanding Isle of Man businesses, and businesses wishing to relocate to the island.

Minister for Economic Development Laurence Skelly said: "Following the consultation, I am now more confident than ever that the proposed Enterprise Development Scheme will help to create valuable new jobs in local companies and will be key in enabling the island to maintain its status as a growing, diverse economy, as well as providing a financial return to Government. It forms an integral part of our Enterprise Isle strategy as proposed under our long term economic plan Vision2020."

"Following the announcement of the scheme by the Chief Minister in July, the Department undertook a consultation on the proposals. The responses we received to the consultation showed overwhelming support from the island's business community for the proposed scheme. Some responses highlighted the need for clear accountability, transparency, and reporting given we are seeking substantial public funds. I completely agree. Therefore amendments have been made to the original scheme design to address these points."

Subject to Tynwald approval, the following schemes will be launched:

  • The Fledgling Scheme will be made up of the Micro Business Grant Scheme and The Small Business Grant Scheme, both of which are designed to support individuals looking to set up their own business, or existing small businesses looking to expand. These schemes will be managed directly by the Department as is the case with the current Small Business Start Up Scheme;
  • The Micro Business Grant Scheme replaces and enhances the existing Small Business Start Up Scheme with the level of grant support increased to GBP5,000 and the age limit for applicants reduced to 16. Additionally a grant of up to GBP25,000 will be introduced for research and development costs that research indicates will be particularly attractive to new start-ups and small businesses;
  • The Accelerator Scheme will support existing (and potentially new) businesses employing at least five people and entering their next phase of growth; and
  • The Relocator Scheme aims to attract larger businesses seeking to relocate to the Isle of Man or existing local businesses looking to scale up their export-led business or entering a commercialization phase of an existing project.

Should the scheme be approved by Tynwald, a tender process will begin shortly afterwards to make the necessary appointment of a suitable organization from the private sector to be the scheme manager. It is anticipated that the Enterprise Development Scheme will be launched by the end of January 2016.

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