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Government schemes to protect economic growth

Basil Bielich

The Isle of Man is proud of its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that, over the years, has been achieved by individuals and businesses identifying what the Island is good at, building a good rapport with the local Government, and supporting each other with new ideas to accommodate growing businesses that will benefit the Island.

The Isle of Man Government has developed a range of innovative schemes to encourage businesses to relocate to the Island as well as giving existing Manx businesses incentives to grow. The Department for Enterprise (“DFE”) offers a range of support schemes to help starting, growing and developing businesses on the Isle of Man. Whether they are an individual looking to take their first steps into self-employment, a business requiring funding to scale-up and grow, or an already established organisation looking to invest and improve in a particular area, the DFE has a number of opportunities for creating and developing a business on the Isle of Man. 

The schemes include a range of assistance including financial grants, loan and equity investments, in addition to training and business mentoring. Some of these schemes are:

Enterprise Development Scheme (“EDS”)

The EDS is designed to allow the Isle of Man Government to provide new companies with a mix of loans and equity. The EDS involvement with the companies gives a large amount of support to new businesses and provides not just funding, but ongoing guidance which can be vital in the first stages. 

The ideal EDS targeted business would be likely to export their services from the Isle of Man and might be E-business, Fintech, Media, Manufacturing or Bio-Medical related. Eligible businesses include existing on-island businesses, early projects in their commercialisation phase, or businesses relocating to the Isle of Man to grow.

The investment mix (debt/equity) is based on a number of factors, not just the likelihood of complete success (profitable business and a financial return for the Isle of Man Government) but also the employment opportunities for the Island, the connectivity to other related industries on the Island, the technology, and strategic economic nature of the investment (new sectors).

Financial Assistance Scheme

This scheme is discretionary and can offer a generous package of support to qualifying businesses, as it includes grants of up to 40% towards a range of capital and operating items such as building expenditure, plant and machinery, marketing, first year expenses, rent, training, energy and waste efficiency, and employee relocation.

The DFE may provide assistance to an eligible business where, in its opinion, the eligible business undertakes, or will undertake, an economic activity in the Island, and the assistance is likely to encourage sustainable economic growth in the Island.

Employee Relocation Incentive

The Employee Relocation Incentive provides a 20% grant of up to £10,000 towards the cost of a relocating employee’s first year net salary. This can be for both new and existing roles within a business that has a permanent establishment on the Isle of Man.

The job in an eligible sector must offer a minimum salary of at least £25,000 and it must be a permanent position. The employee must be directly employed by the business and work predominantly on the Isle of Man; they also need to become a resident on the Island for income tax purposes.

Micro Business Grant Scheme

The scheme has been designed to give start-ups and early stage small businesses the necessary training, financial support and mentoring to get their business off the ground. Matched funding for up to £6,000 is available for all businesses, with assistance of £15,000 for exporting businesses and childcare providers.

Business Improvement Scheme

This scheme aims to help businesses engage external consultants to undertake projects such as website development, marketing and environmental efficiency. The available matched funding is up to a maximum of £5,000.

If you wish to discuss any of these schemes in more detail please do not hesitate to contact one of our team.

Notes: The Isle of Man is a leading international business centre renowned for its innovation, professionalism and long-standing policy of positive engagement with international initiatives and standards. With a diversified economy that encompasses traditional sectors and emerging industries, the Island has a strong track record of resourcefulness, resilience and teamwork in successfully adjusting to a changing world.

Peregrine Corporate Services Limited is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.