A new £20 million fund that will provide Welsh small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with the backing they need to bid for larger contracts has been announced by Economy Minister, Edwina Hart.
The Wales Capital Growth Fund, which has been funded by the Welsh Government and will be managed by Finance Wales, has been created in response to demand from Welsh SMEs for finance for a range of short-term working capital and performance bond requirements.
Welsh SMEs will now be able to apply for loans of between £50,000 and £2 million for terms of up to 18 months from the five-year fund. It aims to help up to ninety SMEs and it is anticipated it will potentially create and safeguard around 1000 jobs over a five year period.
The new European Commission Regional Aid Guidelines for 2014 to 2020 are due to come into force on 1 July 2014. The guidelines provide the framework for providing regional grant support to companies throughout Europe.
The key changes in the new guidelines can be summarised as follows
- A new assisted area map will come into force from 1 July 2014. West Wales and the Valleys will maintain its Tier 1 area status however there will be some changes to the Tier 2 areas in Wales.
- Aid intensities in Tier 1 areas in Wales will be reduced by 5% from 1 July 2014. For example the maximum aid intensity for a large company will reduce from 30% to 25% from 1 July 2014
- Investment aid to large firms in Tier 2 areas will only be available to support initial investment in the region or the diversification of existing operations into new products or processes. Support will not therefore be available merely for the expansion of existing activities.
For all companies in Tier 1 areas therefore looking to maximise grant support, and for large companies considering expansion projects it may be beneficial to submit a grant application prior to 1 July 2014.
If you wish to discuss further please contact Mike Fenwick, Director of Grants by email or phone on 02920 549939
Tax planning for most tends to happen just before 5 April each year, if at all. Here at Broomfield & Alexander we are encouraging everyone to get ahead of the game and start thinking about it now. After all, nobody wants to pay more tax than necessary, so why not kick off 2014 by getting into some good financial habits?
Ideally, tax planning should be a year round process and shouldn’t be left until the last few days of the tax year. Opportunities can be lost, or tax savings reduced, if action is delayed.
To assist you with your tax planning, we’ve devised a tax planning checklist. Take a few moments to consider the following questions and contact us now to discuss the planning opportunities arising from any ‘No’ responses.
Do you ever ask yourself simple questions and find them the hardest to answer? Children do this all the time – Why is the sky blue? Why is water wet? – and often the answers to the simplest questions provoke the deepest meaning.
So as those in business and entrepreneurs, do you ask yourselves the following simple questions:
- Why do I work the way that I do?
- What’s in it for me?
Answering them may just be the secret to maximising your value as shareholders and developing your exit strategy.
The relationships between bankers and solicitors have over the last 5 years been severely strained.
Banks which had always pushed money at solictors after 2008 decided firms were a poor risk and withdrew support causing a lot of difficulties.
They have rediscovered their previous warm feelings about solicitors but not on the criteria they relied upon before.
The banks are much more aware of the danger signs in a practice and they are closely linking their behaviour and expectations to the SRA.
Before you start processing the new tax year…
The start of this week kicked off the new tax year, so we’ve got a checklist for you of all the things you need to make sure you’ve done before you start processing the new year using your Sage Payroll software.
- Process and update your final pay period for 2013/2014 and send your final FPS and, if applicable, EPS.
- Check that you’ve installed your new tax year update so you’ve got the correct legislation to process.
Go to Help > About, and your version should be v20.01, v19.04, v18.05, v17.08 or v16.11. If it’s not, open Help > Check For Updates.
The financial year to 31 March 2014 has been a busy year for the specialist grants team at Broomfield & Alexander.
During the year we have assisted with approximately 30 grant applications and to date have been successful in securing grant offers of the order of £4.5 million with a further £3 million of applications currently in the process of being appraised.
There has been a lot written in recent years about the Alternative Business Structure (ABS) for law firms, but maybe now is the time to reconsider not just who is involved in the ownership of a firm, but the nature of the entity itself.
ABS was intended to expand the market from which solicitors practices could raise finance, by enabling non-lawyers to become partners. However, more recently it is being suggested that firms need to consider how best to attract talent from within the industry into ownership to survive.
Investing money in non-deposit based investment solutions is engaging more and more people as wealth grows. However, there remains a huge gulf in difference between the various solutions that are marketed to individual investors, from the banks, through to the likes of fund supermarket providers, to Independent Financial Advisers.
Much of the talk recently has been around conversion to “clean” shares or in some cases “super clean”. This does not mean that there is any such thing as a “dirty” share class, but while these terms have entered financial vocabulary, it is clear that many do not understand the relevance of the term.
Historically, many investment wrappers were created with the cost of the wrapper provider being paid from a rebate that was paid directly from the funds in which the investor put their money.