Fi­nan­cial support for small firms – but where to start?

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

AS A small business owner, what keeps you awake at night? For many, bal­anc­ing the books is top of the list. Healthy fi­nances are cru­cial to al­low you to both invest in your business whilst pro­tect­ing it from what the fu­ture may bring.

For­tu­nately, there is a range of gov­ern­ment support avail­able to help your business to be se­cure and most im­por­tantly, grow.

One ex­am­ple of a small business which has re­ceived gov­ern­ment fi­nan­cial support is Trunki. Their in­no­va­tively de­signed prod­ucts (in­clud­ing their fa­mous chil­dren’s suit­case) have en­abled them to ac­cess a range of gov­ern­ment prod­ucts and ser­vices, help­ing them to take huge leaps as a business.

“Trunki has re­ceived gov­ern­ment support in a num­ber of ways.” ex­plains Rob Law, founder of Trunki. “Firstly, we worked hard to re-shore our man­u­fac­tur­ing to our plas­tics mould­ing fac­tory in Ply­mouth, al­low­ing us to ben­e­fit from The Patent Box scheme.”

The Patent Box en­ables com­pa­nies to ap­ply a lower rate of cor­po­ra­tion tax to prof­its earned from patented in­ven­tions.

It is be­ing phased in over a fouryear pe­riod and once the full ben­e­fit of the Patent Box is in ef­fect (from April 2017) it will re­sult in a ten per cent rate of cor­po­ra­tion tax be­ing ap­plied to such re­turns.

“We have al­ways ap­plied for patents for all of our prod­ucts to build up our IP port­fo­lio, it’s one of the most valu­able as­sets we have” said Law. “This scheme is bril­liant, al­low­ing us to re-invest more of our earn­ings back into the business. It mo­ti­vated us to stay in the UK and not to off­shore. It re­wards in­ven­tive com­pa­nies too, which can only be a good thing.

“Se­condly, we re­ceived gov­ern­ment support through R&D tax cred­its for the de­vel­op­ment of our Boost­APak chil­dren’s car seat and for the re-en­gi­neered ver­sion of our Trunki suit­cases, which is now eas­ier to man­u­fac­ture in the UK and to re­cy­cle.”

There are many types of fi­nan­cial support avail­able to busi­nesses with am­bi­tions to grow.

As well as the in­creas­ing va­ri­ety of fi­nance sources now avail­able (such as crowd­fund­ing, bank loans and peer-to-peer lend­ing) there are many gov­ern­ment schemes and in­cen­tives (on top of those Trunki ac­cessed) de­vised to help small busi­nesses se­cure the fund­ing they need to suc­ceed.

For ex­am­ple, your business may be el­i­gi­ble for fi­nan­cial support pack­ages such as the En­ter­prise In­vest­ment Scheme, SMART grants or So­cial In­vest­ment Tax Re­lief. Or per­haps your business needs the support to se­cure ini­tial fund­ing to help turn your idea into a re­al­ity.

To learn about all of the fi­nance op­tions avail­able to you and your business, and for more de­tail on how the gov­ern­ment can support you fi­nan­cially, visit www.great­busi­ness. gov.uk/fi­nance

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