Posts Tagged ‘Welsh economy’

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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Grant Support for Research and Development in Wales

Posted on: July 31st, 2012 by Mike Fenwick No Comments
Mike Fenwick, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Mike Fenwick, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Grant support is available from the Welsh Government in order to encourage companies to undertake Research and Development activities in Wales.

The funding is aimed at supporting SME’s although non SME’s can potentially access support on an exceptional basis.

The funding is available throughout Wales and is not restricted to Grant Assisted Areas.

Grant support can be provided through the following schemes:

1. Innovation Vouchers – Innovation vouchers are available to support R&D activities undertaken up to a maximum of £10,000 and 50% of eligible project costs per innovation voucher. An applicant company can apply for 2 innovation vouchers in any 12 month period. Eligible costs are limited to the costs of using external suppliers to undertake the work.

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Warning to organisations in Wales of increasing fraud risks

Posted on: April 9th, 2012 by SarahCase No Comments
Sarah Case, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Sarah Case, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Companies and charities operating in Wales are being warned that they are particularly vulnerable to fraud as the faltering economy creates a combination of more desperate people and less secure organisations.

With the UK losing a staggering £38bn a year through fraud, an increase in the number of high-profile fraud cases, and a recent report which reveals that charities are foregoing 2.4 per cent of their income to fraudsters, organisations in Wales are likely to be particularly prone to becoming the victims of fraud.

The propensity of the would-be fraudster to commit their crime is largely dependent on both their motive and the existence of opportunity,

As unemployment, rates of taxation, inflation and other factors that put pressure on disposable income all rise, so to does the motivation to commit fraud.

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Budget Report March 2012

Posted on: March 22nd, 2012 by LeightonReed No Comments
Leighton Reed, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Leighton Reed, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Download our Budget Report 2012

George Osborne continued his fiscal campaigning by attempting to juggle tax take, Government borrowing and economic growth. Only time will tell how many balls he will continue to keep in the air and for how long.

There are no dramatic tax changes announced in his Budget Statement. Many of the key items such as reduction of the 50% income tax rate, increases in stamp duty for higher value homes and increases in the personal income tax allowances, were “leaked” in advance. However, there were a few surprises.

Details of the tax changes announced are set out below.

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Digital Development Fund – supporting the creative sector

Posted on: January 11th, 2012 by Mike Fenwick No Comments
Mike Fenwick, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Mike Fenwick, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

The Welsh Government has recently introduced a Digital Development Fund aimed at supporting the Creative Sector in Wales to develop new products and services to exploit across multiple digital platforms and international markets

The Fund will provide non repayable grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 up to a maximum of 50% of eligible project costs.

Applicants must be registered as businesses or have a substantial business base in Wales and be able to demonstrate how their product or service will be exploited commercially.

Eligible activities 

Projects will involve the development or exploitation of a creative product or service in digital format(s). A creative product or service is defined, for the purposes of the fund, as any commercial product or service with an artistic or creative content.  The project may last for a maximum of 12 months.

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Charities – creating a sustainable future

Posted on: January 10th, 2012 by Sarah Case No Comments
Sarah Case, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Sarah Case, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Recently there have been unprecedented stresses placed on the charity sector and some organisations are facing a substantial reduction in services or even closure. However, these outcomes are far from inevitable.

Charities that have built and are building strong predictable income streams and have robust financial planning mechanisms in place, running their services in a financially sustainable manner will allow valuable services to be maintained.

Many of the steps that charities are taking – changing their operations on cost grounds and reviewing or delaying activities – will see them endure for longer as these strategies make the most of available resources.

Many find that by taking steps to ensure that they stick more closely to their core mission and adapting to a more austere funding environment that they can define more tightly the services that they deliver or are targeting their beneficiaries more precisely.

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Wales Economic Growth Fund

Posted on: December 8th, 2011 by Mike Fenwick No Comments
Mike Fenwick, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Mike Fenwick, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

The Wales Economic Growth Fund is a new £15 million short-term, fast-track fund for businesses, providing immediate access to non-repayable grant funding for capital investment that will create and retain jobs.

The minimum level of funding is £100,000 and applications are open from 12 December 2011 with a closing date of 31 January 2012. The funding will need to be spent by the 31 December 2012.

The fund is open to applications from businesses from all sectors throughout Wales, however funding is discretionary and is subject to state aid rules and limits and the onus is on the applicant company to prove need. Retail businesses and businesses which provide services to the local market will not be eligible for support.

Applicant businesses will need to submit a business plan and detailed financial forecasts in support of their application. The business plan will need to demonstrate why grant is required and at what level, and the anticipated contribution the project will make to the wider economy.

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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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Recent Changes to Grant Support in Wales

Posted on: October 11th, 2011 by Mike Fenwick No Comments
Mike Fenwick, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Mike Fenwick, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Following the introduction of the Economic Renewal Programme (ERP) in 2010 there have been a number of significant changes to how grant support is delivered to businesses in Wales.

The principal changes introduced by ERP were as follows

  • Targeting support by focussing on a number of key priority sectors
  • Moving to a model of mainly repayable business finance
  • Reallocating a significant proportion of the grant budget to investment in infrastructure and high speed broadband

The initial proposal contained in the ERP was to limit support to the following key 6 sectors

  • Creative industries
  • Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)
  • Energy and Environment
  • Advanced materials and manufacturing
  • Life Sciences
  • Financial and Professional services

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Charities – Managing change

Posted on: August 9th, 2011 by SarahCase No Comments
Sarah Case, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Sarah Case, Director, MHA Broomfield Alexander

Charities are currently faced with difficult economic conditions, and surrounded by many potential pitfalls. What can trustees do to secure their organisation’s future?  Here are some constructive steps that trustees can take:

Engage all the trustees – the finances need to be understood by everyone, not just the finance committee.

  • Ensure cashflow is managed efficiently – this means making sure funders – think of them as debtors – pay promptly.  And do not pay creditors prematurely.  Be careful, though, not to break payment terms.  When applied consistently, these principles have an effect equivalent to receiving additional funding.
  • Ensure budgets are accurate and up-to-date – the annual audit and production of accounts is too late to look at finances.  Charities need to constantly monitor their cash reserves against budgets, to ensure forecasts are realistic.
  • Recognise that redundancies are not the only way to cut staff costs – part time working, such as moving staff from a five to a four-day week, is often a more popular option than redundancies, and may have an unforeseen detrimental impact on the future of the charity.

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