First steps on the road to recovery | May 2020

Chamber’s history spans more than 60 years. There have certainly been many challenges for the organization, and the Island’s economy, during that time – but nothing compares to the events of recent months.

Date: Friday 22 May 2020

Chamber’s history spans more than 60 years. There have certainly been many challenges for the organization, and the Island’s economy, during that time – but nothing compares to the events of recent months.

COVID-19 is a national and international tragedy, and the human cost here on the Island has been heartbreaking. Out of such adversity has come many inspiring stories of individuals and organisations working to support everyone in the community, especially those most in need during the crisis. The business community has certainly played its part too. From small independent firms to major corporations, professional representative bodies, and Government, we have seen many examples of the public and private sectors working together towards a common goal.

From the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, Chamber has been working closely with Government to ensure that the views of our members and the wider business community were considered in policy decisions, and we were pleased to see such a rapid response with measures put in place to provide financial and practical support for those businesses most severely affected.

The implications and impact of COVID-19 changed day by day in the first few weeks of the crisis, so we needed a way of gauging the opinions of businesses. That’s why we created our weekly Impact Tracker surveys which have proved to be a useful barometer to measure that impact, and the effectiveness of Government’s support measures.

Chamber also recently launched the Business Advisory Service (BAS) which has already helped dozens of individuals and business owners to get expert help from leading professionals here on the Island. The service matches those looking for advice with mentors from the relevant sector. While much of the advice so far has focused on how to apply for emergency Government funding and bank loans, BAS has also proved to be invaluable to small companies or sole traders suddenly faced with the need to diversify and, in some cases, create an entirely new business model. BAS is free and open to all Isle of Man businesses, whether or not they are Chamber members. It is available via a user-friendly online platform which is sponsored by Celton Manx. For details go to Business Advisory Service