Government needs to listen to business community and address concerns, says Chamber survey Think Tank research highlights main concerns as General Election nears | August 2021

The Isle of Man needs a government that does more to listen to the business community and address its concerns.

Date: Thursday 05 August 2021

The Isle of Man needs a government that does more to listen to the business community and address its concerns.

That’s one of the main findings from a survey carried out by the Chamber of Commerce’s Think Tank group as part of a strategy to increase engagement in the General Election debate. 78 Chamber members - representing a range of businesses in terms of size, sector and years of trading - took part in the survey with the highest number of responses coming from the financial and insurance services sectors.

When asked to rank the issues most important to them, the top three all related to government. A government that listens to business concerns and addresses them promptly was the top priority, followed by a desire to see the next administration doing more to focus on short-term solutions and long-term strategies. Third on the list was a call for government to do more to support innovation.

Businesses were also asked for their opinions on a range of other topical issues, including the impact of the pandemic and support that may be required for economic recovery, Brexit, and other long-standing concerns such as regulatory frameworks, addressing the skills gap, and work permit rules. A majority of businesses had concerns about recruitment and training (please see the Q5 and Q6 graphics below).

One question asked businesses to identify the main factors which they think are acting as barriers to economic growth. The key factors identified were:
• Concerns about excessive or impractical regulation
• Government policy and a lack of transparency
• Staff and recruitment
• Concerns about the economy and economic support

Additionally, the survey identified how businesses wish to interact with candidates prior to the General Election. Think Tank will use these results, and the wider results of the survey, to formulate the basis of questions to put to candidates to ensure that the issues concerning business and the economy are at the forefront of the debate.

Chamber CEO Rebecca George commented: “The survey results give a valuable insight into the opinions of the business community as we count down the days to the General Election. The data it provides builds on the work we have done already around our Business Manifesto which aims to ensure that business and economic concerns are considered by every voter and prospective MHK.”

Chamber’s ‘Think Tank’ group provides a path for individual business people to join the Island’s biggest business network and make a positive, long-term contribution to the organisation. Think Tank was formed in late 2020 and evolved out of Chamber’s former Fuel sub-committee.