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Chamber supports Sefton deal

The controversial government bailout of the Sefton Group has won strong support from the largest organisation representing business in the Island, the Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber's issued a statement describing the £4.5 million deal as a 'bold' move which demonstrates a 'holistic' understanding of the Manx economy.

It backs the use of public money to help the Sefton group survive on the basis it directly employs 300 people and contributes more than £7 million to the Manx economy.

Chief executive Jane Dellar adds the 'significant number' of small businesses supplying goods and services to the group are also a vital part of the economy and could have faced bankruptcy had the group failed, sending substantially greater numbers of people to sign-on unemployed and claim state benefits.

Ms Dellar challenges the view that a receiver could have found new owners to take the business on; she says while the core hotel business might prove attractive, cherry-picking would likely prove not in the best interests of the Isle of Man long-term.

The chamber's statement concludes by pointing out that the government isn't 'simply giving' money to the Sefton Group but is making a fully-repayable business loan and in purchasing the Middlemarch site on Lord Street in Douglas, has secured a prime piece of land in the town centre for government.

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