Being a member of Foundation East helps the local economy

For most of us there has been time when help from an unexpected source has made a big difference. This could be a kindly advice, a short term loan or simply knowing someone has faith in our ability to succeed. Members of Foundation East understand how valuable this support can be and have joined the Society to help give small businesses owners both the finance and the encouragement they need to prosper.

Foundation East is an Registered Society and a democratic organisation controlled by its members, which include individuals, sole traders and incorporated companies that support the ethos of the Society.

Members buy shares, each share costing £1. The minimum investment is £50 for an individual or sole trader, £250 for incorporated companies. The maximum investment per investor is £100,000. Foundation East then uses this capital to lend money to viable businesses in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and neighbouring areas.

You might invest to meet your companies' Corporate Social Responsibility agenda or because it gives you feelings of fulfilment through giving something back to the community. It is an opportunity to support the development of local businesses, to personally develop yourself or add to your CV. You might invest for tax efficiency reasons with CITR shares providing 5% per annum tax relief.

The active participation of members is welcomed, but not obligatory, and adds tremendous value to the Society. The contribution of our members with their experience and skills has helped many businesses in the region succeed, helping to turn around the lives of all the people involved.

The Directors are democratically elected to the Society’s board at the Annual General Meeting on a one member, one vote basis.

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Here's what some of our members have to say

Brian Floringer, Partner at Lovewell Blake LLP

“I sat in on a meeting between one of my clients and Foundation East. It was so refreshing to hear the application would be judged on the business case and the individual, rather than a remote credit scoring system, together with an offer of ongoing help and support, as opposed to simply monitoring.”

John Parker, individual member

“Certain shares in Foundation East qualify for a tax relief aimed at stimulating community investment. Becoming a member enabled me to obtain a good return (by way of tax reduction) and at the same time channel resources to new business ventures focused on wealth creation.

Barry Van Eupen, local business owner

“I wanted to work with SMEs and joining Foundation East gave me that opportunity. Foundation East support the local economy by providing finance to businesses. As a member I can become directly involved with the SMEs we support and I welcome the opportunity to see them develop. I am also helping Foundation East grow, evolve and continue much needed finance to the SME sector.”

What's Community Investment Tax Relief?

Foundation East is accredited by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to offer Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR). The relief is equivalent to 5% of the value of an investment each year over five years. The investment must remain with Foundation East for 5 years in order to be eligible for CITR.

CITR equates to a pre-tax return of 6.41% for standard payers, 7.14% for corporate tax payers and 8.33% for higher rate tax payers. Not all Member investments have to be invested and/or be eligible for CITR.

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