The retail sector is a significant part of the Island’s economy contributing an essential service which, in today’s world, is also seen as a prominent leisure activity.
The Department of Economic Development is keen to assist the retail sector and a number of initiaitves are available:
- 2 half day visits by an independent retail consultant to retailers to offer specific advice and provide a health check for businesses e.g. till location, branding, marketing, product range, shop layout. This support has helped a number of independent retailers so far and will be made available to many more in the coming months
- Through the Department’s Business Support Scheme we are offering them subsidised support with up to 50% of the costs of engaging specialist advice to help retail businesses develop a web site presence and begin to trade on line. From this, they can access local shopping portal www.shopiom.com to help market and sell their products
- The Business Support Scheme can help independent retail businesses with measures to improve energy efficiency and they can also access the 0% Green Business Loan Scheme to help with the upfront capital costs of investing in energy saving measures
- Vocational Training Financial Support Scheme is available to offer structured training and support aimed at both the retail employer and/or employee
- The Manx Welcome programme initially designed to help the hospitality sector is also open to retail businesses to help improve customer facing skills.
The Department also actively contributes to a number of committees and working partnerships. It is an active member of the Retail Committee of the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce and is currently involved with providing regular input to the various regeneration committees and with the work of the Douglas Development Partnership. This has led to the development of specific initiatives for example, assisting the Castle Street/Marina Road Traders Association and the formation of the Christmas Emporium launched for December 2011.
The Department's Development Manager for Retail is Andy Bostock, tel 01624 687361, or email