Posts Tagged ‘SME’

Welsh Government funding support for businesses in Wales

Posted on: August 1st, 2012 by Mike Fenwick No Comments
Mike Fenwick, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Mike Fenwick, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

In the current economic climate raising finance in particular for SME’s and early stage businesses, continues to be challenging.

In recognition of this the Welsh Government has recently announced the establishment of 3 new funds aimed at supporting SME’s, micro businesses and businesses operating in the Life Sciences sector.

Wales SME Investment Fund

The new £40 million Wales SME Investment Fund is a 4 year fund managed by Finance Wales that provides debt, mezzanine and equity finance to SME’s throughout Wales.

The fund consists of £20m from the Welsh Government and a further £20 million from the private sector. The new fund is able to provide support to a wider range of SME’s than were previously eligible for support under the £150 million Finance Wales JEREMIE fund.

The fund is currently open for applications.

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Accessing finance in Wales

Posted on: November 29th, 2011 by SeamusGates No Comments
Seamus Gates, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Seamus Gates, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

The climate for accessing finance in Wales continues to be difficult not helped by the latest concerns over global banking and financial markets.

Nonetheless there continues to be opportunities for businesses to consolidate or grow and develop.  In order to do this funding is required; set out below are some sources of funding that should be considered.

Bank funding is still the main source of finance for businesses.  Despite the difficulties, good projects can still obtain support albeit the process may be more protracted than before.   The key is to provide the bank with a clear and concise business plan, up to date accounts, robust financial projections, and a clear business case.

Bank overdrafts or structured loans require adequate security and the cost of borrowing is likely to be at least 2.5% over current base rates.

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How to access public sector tender opportunities

Posted on: April 21st, 2011 by Seamus Gates
Seamus Gates, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Seamus Gates, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

The ability of SMEs to access valuable public sector tendering opportunities has long been a popular discussion topic on both sides of the equation.

Government, central and devolved, has long been trying to encourage smaller companies to participate in tender processes and have politically wanted to be seen as supporting SMEs. The Welsh Assembly Government particularly have been keen to champion and publicise their work in this area.

SMEs have also wanted to gain a foothold in the public sector market – seeing larger and often foreign owned companies enjoying the support of tax payers money has caused controversy in the past, particularly when trading conditions have been more difficult at home.

However, the process can be time consuming, especially when you are an SME, with every increasing hurdles to jump through. Companies are required to submit details of environmental policies and other areas which have political resonance, or in an effort to enable appraisers to differentiate between tenders, increasingly complex tasks are included such as case studies or exam style questions. These are on top of the usual tender requirements in relation to demonstrating the skills and resources required to do the work in question.

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HMRC programme to improve record-keeping among SMEs

Posted on: January 10th, 2011 by LeightonReed
Leighton Reed, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Leighton Reed, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

HMRC has recently announced their intention to introduce a programme of checking business records and is consulting on how to go about this. The consultation document Business Record Checks was published on 17 December and the deadline for responding is 28 February 2011.

HMRC says that these checks will review both the adequacy and accuracy of business records within the SME sector. HMRC is not proposing any new legislation as the programme will use existing law regarding both record-keeping requirements and penalties for failure to comply with those requirements.

HMRC will check business records in up to 50,000 cases annually; beginning in the second half of 2011, the consultation is merely to discuss how this is implemented. There will be penalties for ‘significant’ record-keeping failures, on the basis of risk assessment, and the aim is to bring about an improvement in record-keeping across the SME population and thus reduce tax losses that result from poor business records. Current penalties for record-keeping failures of up to £3,000 can be levied and there is no indication that this would be altered for these checks.

Many of our clients should have little to fear as they operate full accounting systems. It is those businesses where the accounting systems are not in place which face the greatest risk of exposure to penalties.

We will continue to update our clients throughout this process and will give guidance on responses and subsequent interventions whilst offering health checks and HMRC Enquiry service.