Weekly lateral flow testing now available for businesses

Public Health Dorset, on behalf of Dorset and BCP Councils, has set up a Dorset Rapid Community Testing service for local businesses.

Any business whose staff cannot work from home, due to the public-facing nature of their role can register for weekly lateral flow testing.

If you work for a business or organisation that has been told that they are able to access the testing programme you can book your weekly test online.

Book your test here. 

A BCTC Breakfast Basket!

Wayne Batsford, using his own words, describes himself as a wedding specialist, business catering, party catering, and lockdown birthday celebration hero…

So, we were over the moon when we recently received this BCTC Breakfast Hamper from him as a new BCTC member with his Red Cherry Catering business. The contents of which were made from the finest Dorset ingredients and delivered right to our doorstep!

Catering for all celebrations and delivered straight to your home or workplace, we couldn’t have been made to feel any more special. Thank you Wayne and Team.

Specialist Nurse Esmarié Jones joins Lewis-Manning Hospice Care

Esmarié Jones has joined Lewis-Manning Hospice Care as a Lymphoedema Nurse Specialist, based at the hospice at Longfleet Road in Poole.

She joins with a rich and varied nursing background, having trained and qualified in South Africa and has worked in a variety of roles in London and Dorset.  With a speciality in critical care, she was also a district nurse for many years.

Commenting on her new role, Esmarié said, “I thoroughly enjoy working within my local community and making a real difference to the lives of others, I love people!

“The Lymphoedema Clinic is often the one constant in a patient’s cancer journey. Our patients know that we can provide a safe environment, not only to treat their physical problems but also a listening ear to help with their mental wellbeing, in total confidence.  I am really looking forward to my role at Lewis-Manning Hospice Care and supporting our patients across East Dorset and Purbeck.”

Clare Gallie, CEO said, “During the current situation with COVID 19, we are even more aware of the support our Lymphoedema patients need and continue to offer telephone consultations and clinic appointments in a safe and controlled environment. Our patients know we are always there for them and they are at the centre of everything we do. I am very proud of all that we are achieving during these unprecedented times. We are delighted to welcome Esmarié on board, as she brings invaluable experience to her new role and is a great addition to our incredible team of staff.”

About Lewis-Manning Hospice Care

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care is a charity established 29 years ago, providing extraordinary care to patients and their families facing a life-limiting illness across Poole, Purbeck and East Dorset. We offer a range of free hospice care services aimed at helping people to live well through their illness, closer to home.
These include:
– Day hospices, virtual and in person
– Creative arts & wellbeing support
– Lymphoedema clinic for cancer patients
– Better breathing clinic
– Family bereavement & support
Every year we support nearly 500 local people and we develop new services, based on patient need and identified gaps in the area.
To do this we need to raise over £1.6m every year. Without these funds we could not exist.
Our important work increases people’s physical and social well-being, reduces isolation and loneliness, supports people to stay in their homes longer, and alleviates the huge pressures on family and carers.

Registered charity no. 1120193
For more information, check out https://lewis-manning.org.uk

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant

If you are an employer looking to create job placements for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme. You no longer need a minimum of 30 job placements to apply and  can spread the start date of the placements up until end December 2021.

Apply online or get help from a Kickstart Gateway such as Dorset Chamber of Commerce.

If you need help with the Kickstart Scheme process, contact your local Kickstart Scheme contacts. For promotional materials, check out theKickstart Scheme employer guide.

New Investor P​olling system enables investors to interact and privately register interest

Dorset Business Angels (DBA) held their first online quarterly pitch event in 2021, attracting a record number of some 59 attendees registered and 30 DBA members present. It also saw the introduction of a new polling system.

5 entrepreneurs pitched to the savvy investors and partners. Pitches were followed by a Q & A session, whereby would- be investors could further interrogate the entrepreneurs on their business, ideas and potential opportunities and markets. Questions came from across the board.

A new polling system was then introduced in which attendees were asked to rate the presentation that they had just heard and also to register their interest to find out further information about the pitch and carry out due diligence on the investment opportunity.

DBA member Frank Guinn who chaired the event said, “The polling proved particularly impactful as it provided us with immediate levels of investor interest.  Coincidently, our investor interest was at an all- time high, for the 2nd consecutive pitch event, and we felt that the anonymous system allowed attendees the privacy to express their intentions to get involved.  21 expressions of interest were shown in total at our event.

“The investor feedback on the presentations also provided invaluable data to be fed back to the entrepreneurs presenting.”

Business pitching included:

·       A business in the Advanced composite materials sector, with aims to increase the capabilities of the world’s most demanding products through the application of advanced materials and manufacturing techniques. In revenue and with an expanding customer base, the Company is currently focussing on the delivery of key contracts in the automotive, electrification, electric machines, defence, and aerospace sectors.  Investors were particularly impressed by the list of businesses and sectors that were being supported – Airbus, Safran and Electric Motors & Generators were name dropped, to name a few. The ambition of ‘Sustainability with Enhanced Capability’ was shared and the impressive pitch resulted in an extremely positive 9 expressions of interest.

·       A provider of online education seized the moment and grabbed investor attention, with 4 expressions of interest shown. This currently ‘hot topic’ business stated that it focuses on life skills that promote social and emotional wellbeing and dynamic thinking with an aim is to help young people to thrive in life, both at home and in their future work-places. By complementing the traditional academic education with live, interactive online and offline courses for 5-13 year-olds, they help develop young people’s skills in leadership, confidence, resilience and creative problem solving.

They shared their vision to be a global leader in developing life skills, with the goal of transforming the lives of at least a million young people. They backed up their vision by advising that ‘now, more than ever, the world needs people with the empathy, resilience and confidence to thrive.’

Discussing the size of the opportunity, they explained that the UK private tuition market is worth £2bn and the global private tuition market £75bn, with a forecast that the global private tuition market would be worth £139bn by 2026.

·       A Customer Data Processing software business which offers its clients a platform that immediately creates a seamless customer experience easily and at scale. Formed 5 years ago with the founder’s own money, the Company is now employing AI techniques to further enhance the efficiency of their model, to the satisfaction of their growing client base.

It claims to view complete customer profiles, improve and enrich data, understand customers and develop strategies to help the business grow, activate the date across all customer touch points and to measure the success and effectiveness of strategies. Currently working with Crowdcube, they shared the impressive testimonial from Crowdcube co-founder and CMO Luke Lang who said, “Crowdcube literally wouldn’t be where it is today without Distil.”  5 expressions of investor interest were shown.

·       A company with a range of healthy drinks, containing all the nutrients necessary to produce many tasty options, without the sugar and artificial ingredients usually found in traditional soft drinks. Their ‘health pod’ modules offer users the facility to use their home coffee machines to provide a quick and easy way to get these nutrients into a cold press juice or smoothy for around 70p per unit. UK distribution is now ramping up with the product available in 5 supermarket chains and the Company is distributing their range door-to-door in over 50 countries. The product launches in the US in January.

The passionate founder of the business shared the experience of his team, which includes 4 investor directors with experience ranging from entry and exit for FMCG brands, to former directors of investment banks.  He also told investors that he is mentored by Stephen Hann, MD at Graze. Clients gained have included John Lewis, Morrisons, Holland & Barret, Costco and David Lloyd Clubs. 2 expressions of interest were shown.

·       A pre-launch Fintech Investor Analysis SaaS company that has developed a platform that tracks the data performance of private, early-stage companies and gathers operational metrics. The platform is now capable of profiling the investment readiness and business potential of start-ups and early revenue companies extremely well. In the present pre-launch phase, the Company has 12 customers paying monthly recurring revenues and has generated 1300 worldwide data profiles that help with the investment analysis and business decision making of its current users, namely, angel investors, accelerators, funds, support organisations and consultants.  1 expression of interest was received.

Roger Wareham, Partner at DBA Sponsors Saffery Champness advised, “It was great to see such a wide range of businesses pitching and pleasing that there is still positive growth and opportunities coming through. It was also really encouraging to see the level of interest and potential appetite from the investors attending.”

DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to accelerate the growth of early stage businesses. DBA provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI).

Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event at which they pitch their business to the savvy Angels in a Dragon’s Den type scenario. Angel investment might come from a single investor or it could be 2 or 3 Angels pooling funds together to support a company. Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan. Investments are made across all sectors.

DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment. To find out more about Dorset Business Angels visit  www.dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk

HM Revenue: No Self Assessment late filing penalty for those who file online by 28 February

Self Assessment customers will not receive a penalty for their late online tax return if they file by 28 February, HM Revenue and Customs’ Chief Executive Jim Harra has announced.

More than 8.9 million customers have already filed their tax return. HMRC is encouraging anyone who has not yet filed their tax return to do so by 31 January, if possible.

Anyone who cannot file their return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February.

Taxpayers are still obliged to pay their bill by 31 January. Interest will be charged from 1 February on any outstanding liabilities. Customers can pay online, via their bank, or by post before they file.  More information on how to pay is at GOV.UK.

Taxpayers who cannot afford to pay their tax bill on time can apply online to spread their bill over up to 12 months. But they will need to file their 2019-20 tax return before setting up a time to pay arrangement, so HMRC is encouraging everyone to do this as soon as possible.

HMRC’s Chief Executive, Jim Harra, said:

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to file their return on time, so we can calculate their tax bill and help them if they can’t pay it straight away. But we recognise the immense pressure that many people are facing in these unprecedented times and it has become increasingly clear that some people will not be able to file their return by 31 January. 

“Not charging late filing penalties for late online tax returns submitted in February will give them the breathing space they need to complete and file their returns, without worrying about receiving a penalty. We can reasonably assume most of these people will have a valid reason for filing late, caused by the pandemic.”

Normally, late filing penalties are applied to all returns filed after the 31 January deadline. Those penalties are cancelled if the customer has a reasonable excuse for filing late. However, this year HMRC is not issuing late filing penalties for a month to help taxpayers and agents who are unable to meet the deadline. Late filing penalties will not be issued for online tax returns received by 28 February.

HMRC has previously said that it was keeping the situation closely under review. It has become increasingly clear from the filing rate that some taxpayers and agents cannot file on time, and the department has now determined that ensuring no customer will receive late filing penalties if they file online before the end of February is the best way to help them.

HMRC has increased support for customers who may need help with their tax liabilities. Once they have completed their 2019-20 tax return, customers can set up an online payment plan to spread Self Assessment bills of up to £30,000 over up to 12 monthly instalments. Customers can apply for self-serve Time to Pay via GOV.UK. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

More than 42,000 customers have already used the service, without needing to call HMRC, to manage their liabilities totalling almost £130 million.

Customers with bills over £30,000, or who need longer than 12 months to pay their bill, can call HMRC 0300 200 3822 to discuss time to pay.

Customers who are required to make Payments on Account, and know their bill is going to be lower than the previous tax year, for example due to loss of earnings because of COVID-19, can reduce their Payments on Account. Visit GOV.UK to find out more about Payments on Account and how to reduce them.

Customers who are trying to contact HMRC in the run up to the deadline can do so via webchat, Twitter or the Self Assessment phone helpline. They may also find the information they need via the free HMRC app or their Personal Tax Account.

The phone helpline and webchat will both be open on 30 and 31 January, in addition to the weekday service. Opening times are below:

  • Telephony and Card Payment Lines: Saturday 30 January: 08:00 to 18:00 and Sunday 31 January: 09:00 to 18:00
  • Webchat: Saturday 30 January and Sunday 31 January: 08:00 to 20:00

To protect against identity fraud customers must verify their identity when accessing HMRC’s online services. They must have two sources of information including:

  • credit reference agency data
  • tax credits
  • P60/payslip
  • UK Passport

Patron: Small businesses to receive payments from business interruption insurance policies

The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of small businesses receiving payments from business interruption insurance policies.

Following the ruling, it is expected that tens of thousands of small businesses will receive insurance payouts covering loss of profits from the first national lockdown. Whether you can qualify will need to be discussed with your insurer/broker.

The case only covers the first lockdown. If extended to the subsequent lockdowns, either local or national, then any sole traders or partnerships that have made claims under Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) may need to repay some of the grants.

The third version of SEISS required the claimant to declare any anticipated significant reductions in their trading profits. Therefore, if the insurance claim replaces those profits then there will not be a significant reduction in profits and consequently, the SEISS grant will need to be repaid.

If you would like assistance with evaluating the potential losses for your insurance claim then please contact your TC partner on 0330 088 7111 or visit www.tc-group.com.

£4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, the Chancellor has announced.

  • Chancellor announces one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring
  • £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses
  • Comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme

For more information, click here.

Saffery Champness Accountants join in #StepUp Challenge launched by Bournemouth entrepreneurs

Saffery Champness Accountants in Bournemouth has created a team to join in the #StepUp Challenge that was launched by Bournemouth nightclub owners Ty Temel and Benjamin Banks-Reynolds, together with fitness coach Jamie Whisken, aka ReDefine Jamie.

Launched on 1st November, participants have been encouraged to complete one million steps by December 21st, either individually, as a pair or in a team. That’s an average of 20,000 steps a day!

Proceeds will go to Dorset Mind and, in particular, men’s mental health.

The 50-day #StepUp challenge follows in the footsteps of #TheJune500 challenge which was thought up by Ty, Benjamin and Jamie as a way of keeping focused during the lockdown.

It saw a community of almost 200 people each complete 500 kilometres during June with a variety of active pursuits including cycling, running, swimming and more.

Ty, Owner of Halo Bournemouth, said: “We were blown away with the feedback we received from everyone about The June 500 challenge.

“After being inundated with requests for a new challenge we feel the time is right.

“With this challenge, we want to help both ourselves and others to have a focus again during an uncertain time and have an engaged community supporting each other.”

Saffery Director, Hannah Mazrae said , “At Saffery we jumped at the chance to join in the #StepUp Challenge. We have 8 team members who have been super keen to get involved, including Alex Simmons who is averaging an incredible 30,000 steps a day. He gets up at 5.30am, walks for 2 hours and is then back for breakfast with his 7-year-old daughter before she heads to school!

“Our team is due to compete in the ‘Race the Sun Brecon Beacons’ event in March 2021 – which involves cycling, kayaking and hiking.  We saw the #StepUp Challenge as perfect preparation to get fit and focused for this next team challenge.

“The #StepUp Challenge team includes myself, Alex Simmons, Henry Shirley, Collette Parry, Annalise Wareham, Maryna Lobova, Jake Walsh and our PR consultant Kate Shaw from KTPR.

“Our ambition is a team total of 7 million steps in 50 days.  We’d love people to support our fundraising, for such a brilliant and deserving cause. Please visit our JustGiving page here.”

 

About Saffery Champness LLP

Saffery Champness LLP is a firm of chartered accountants that advises individuals and families, not-for-profit organisations and businesses across a range of sectors. As a member of Nexia International, it is part of a worldwide network of independent accounting and consulting firms.

For over 160 years, the firm’s success has been founded upon providing clients with a genuinely partner-led service and working with them to create bespoke solutions that help them to achieve their personal and business objectives. For more information visit www.saffery.com or see Twitter @Safferys

Patron: Further guidance and legislation announced on the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The self-employed can make a claim under the third tranche of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) from 30th November.

As previously announced, self-employed businesses can claim an SEISS grant for the three months to 31st January 2021 for 80% of average business profits with the grant capped at £7,500 in total.

In order to qualify the sole trader or partner must:

  • have traded in both 2018/19 and 2019/20;
  • be trading currently and intend to continue to trade;
  • have had trading demand adversely impacted by COVID or COVID restrictions;
  • have a reasonable belief that trading profits for the trading year will be significantly reduced due to the impact of COVID or COVID restrictions on activity, capacity or demand.

The qualifying criteria have been tightened, and businesses will need to consider them carefully. The main restriction is the claimant must have a reasonable belief that trading profits for the year will be significantly reduced due to the impact of COVID, and they will need to keep records to demonstrate this.

Therefore, before making a claim, businesses need to consider whether the trading profits that they would have achieved in the current period have been adversely impacted by reduced activity due to COVID and that this can be demonstrated.

As with previous tranches, the claim for the grant has to be made by the sole trader or partner and cannot be made by their adviser.

If you would like to discuss whether you qualify for the third tranche of SEISS, please contact your local partner on 0330 088 7111.