Department announces changes to Business Improvement Scheme

04 January 2019

The Department for Enterprise has announced several changes to the Business Improvement Scheme (BIS), formerly the Business Support Scheme. The BIS provides funding of up to 50%, for Isle of Man businesses looking to engage with technical consultants to complete a range of business improvement projects. The changes will build on the continued success of the scheme, which in the last 2 years has invested over £160,000 in developing local businesses.

Key features and changes of the BIS include:

  • A grant of up to 50% towards the cost of projects in a wide range of business areas
  • An increase in financial assistance, up to the value of £5,000
  • Financial assistance covering a range of business areas such as Transactional Websites, Information Communications Technology (ICT), Environmental Efficiency and Quality Accreditations
  • More in-demand disciplines including Digital Marketing, Social Media, Brexit and Legalisation consultancy
  • A Business Advisory Service, which is fully funded by the Department
  • Greatly streamlined administration; with a 50% reduction in the time taken from application to approval

Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for Enterprise, commented:

‘The Business Improvement Scheme has been in operation since 2004 and has seen over 150 business projects completed over the last 5 years. The scheme’s eligibility requirements have been modernised, with the removal of obsolete disciplines, allowing for the introduction of more in-demand modern projects to help local industry innovate. These changes to eligibility, along with an increase in financial assistance, will hopefully help more individuals and businesses reach their potential here in the Isle of Man’.

Following a review of the Department’s financial assistance and enterprise support schemes, a number of changes to the BIS came into effect from 1st December. This includes an increase in financial assistance, from £4,500 to £5,000 per business improvement project and several changes to the project disciplines.

A number of other changes have been introduced to make the scheme simpler; these include streamlining processes and improving delivery. As part of this review, the scheme has been re-written under the Enterprise Act 2008, enabling future changes to be implemented swiftly according to business needs.

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