Lighting the way for East of England's SMEs | Blog | Foundation East
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Lighting the way for East of England's SMEs

26th April 2019 By Katy Ford in Current Affairs

 

New research commissioned by American Express has highlighted the plight of the UK's SMEs in accessing finance. In the East of England, many SMEs, micro-enterprises and social enterprises are turning to us for support. We, in turn, are opening up our Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR) share offer to organisations and individuals keen to practice tax efficient, socially responsible investment. Here's why ...

Why is investing in Foundation East CITR shares even more important than ever?

According to a report released last week by American Express, 30 per cent of UK SMEs are struggling to access the finance they need and 43 per cent of SMEs disagree with the statement that 'traditional banks currently provide them with all the finance they need'.

Many are turning to alternative sources of finance, including, in the East of England, Foundation East.

Foundation East is able to provide loans and support to SMEs, micro-enterprises and social enterprises in the region, thanks to socially minded individuals in the region thanks to socially minded individuals and organisations investing in our Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR) shares.

CITR is the financial sector's best kept secret, according to Mike Harrowven, Foundation East chair and former digital investment platform manager for Aviva.

"It's a shame that this tax relief is so under-utilised. It enables investors to offset their tax bill by five per cent of their investment per year for five years. So, that's 25 per cent of their investment over the five years, a far better return than an currently be expected form a savings account. And they get to build economic resilience in their community and save people's lives for the better too."

Without borrowing from Foundation East, over 600 small businesses across the East of England would be unlikely to exist. These businesses have created over 1250 jobs to date and include:

Since beginning our CITR investment drive, Foundation East has raised £125,000 of our £500,000 investment fund for the 2019/20 financial year. When you invest in our CITR shares, we lend 100 per cent of your investment to SMEs in the region. Individuals and sole traders can invest a minimum of £50 and a maximum of £100,000.

Incorporated businesses can invest a minimum of £250 and a maximum of £100,000.

I encourage anyone with an interest in our region's economic stability and in socially responsible investment, to:

  • About the Author
    Katy Ford

    Katy Ford

    Katy’s knowledge of community finance is extensive, having worked for Foundation East since its inception in 2004. She is recognised locally as an influential business leader by the Suffolk 100 and nationally, as a founding member of AskIf, an online network of community-based lenders. Previous to moving across to community finance, Katy was the treasury manager for a large insurance company. She also has experience as a SME owner, having run a small hotel.

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