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'Perfect storm' for local business

There are calls for the Manx government to "look again" at its support package for local business.

The Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce said many businesses are stuck in a vicious circle of customer cancellations, staff isolation and high levels of debt.

A recent survey of 63 businesses in the retail sector shows profits for some, to be down around 80% on last year.

The Chamber says it's a perfect storm moment for many and there's an urgent need for more support.

Chamber’s CEO, Rebecca George said : “Whilst Government believe that ‘living with Covid’ is the beginning of the end of the pandemic, the Island’s small to medium sized businesses – and particularly those customer facing businesses with younger workers – are currently taking the full force of a perfect storm.

"Our survey revealed that with income reduced by as much 80% compared to the same period in 2020, and limited employees to call upon due to self-isolation, many business owners described the week as the worst they have experienced during the pandemic.” 

Andy Corrie, Chamber’s Retail Sector Lead, said: “Some of the Island’s best known bars, restaurants and cafes look likely to be closed this weekend (July 24/25) in what would ordinarily be one of the peak trading weekends of the year. Not only are these businesses at the forefront of exposure to the virus, many employees are young workers who are not vaccine protected to 2+2 level. People are also being compelled to self-isolate in ever increasing numbers, which is decimating the work forces of these businesses where working from home is not an option.”

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