Coronavirus: Outbreak takes 'heavy toll' on Manx firms

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image captionShops in Douglas' main shopping area have been closed during the pandemic

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Isle of Man businesses has "taken a heavy toll" on the economy, the Chamber of Commerce has said.

A survey of more than 400 firms indicated 90% had seen their revenue reduce since the start of the pandemic.

However, only 26% of firms planned to cut staff within the next week.

The island's border was closed and all non-essential travel banned as part of lockdown measures to contain the spread of the virus.

Forty-two-percent of firms have already closed, while a further 14% were considering shutting their doors.

Many of the companies that took part in the survey were in the hospitality and retail sectors.

Under the emergency measures cafes, restaurants and pubs have been forced to close but can still offer deliveries and takeaway food.

Many shops offering non-essential goods have also been ordered to shut, but can operate online services.

The island's unemployment rate has also doubled since the start of the outbreak.

A £100m package of measures to support businesses and individuals through the crisis has been announced by the treasury minister.

Chamber President Caren Pegg said: "The coronavirus pandemic has already taken a heavy toll on our local economy."

The survey results "highlight the urgent need for that support to reach businesses on the ground as soon as possible", she added.

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