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Little Known Tax Relief a Great CSR Opportunity for East of England Business

In its mission to build greater economic resilience across the East of England by increasing access to fair finance for micro-enterprises, SMEs and social enterprises, responsible finance provider, Foundation East, today launches its #InvestInCITR Week campaign. The campaign, which you can follow on Twitter, raises awareness of HMRC’s little know tax relief, Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR), and makes the case for socially responsible individuals and organisations who care about the Eastern region to invest in Foundation East’s CITR shares. Although much activity will be focussed over the week commencing 25th March 2019, the offer is open all year round.

“Foundation East exists to support job creation and job sustainability by providing finance and business support to SMEs that are unable to access the money they need to startup or grow from mainstream providers. We’ve been operating for 15 years and have lent £10m to microenterprises, SMEs and social enterprises to date. Every £1 we spend creates £15 local social and economic impact,” explains Katy Ford, chief executive of Foundation East.

“However, with ongoing uncertainty around future EU and government funding, we need to ensure we’re raising enough capital to lend if we are to keep on achieving this impact. One way we are doing this is by more widely promoting our socially responsible investment opportunity and spreading the word about CITR.”

Foundation East is accredited by HMRC to offer CITR to its investors. The problem is, according to Katy, that not enough socially motivated investors are aware of CITR, neither are those organisations that seek to advise them.

“It’s a shame that this tax relief is so underutilized. It enables investors to offset their tax bill by a minimum of 5% (of their investment) per year for up to five years. So that’s a minimum of 25% (of their investment) tax relief over five years, a far better return than can currently be expected from a savings account. And they get to build economic resilience in their community and change people’s lives for the better too.”

Without lending 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:

• Bedfordshire birthing pool delivery service, Barefoot Birth Pools
• Cambridgeshire award-winning chocolate-making social enterprise Harry Specters
• Essex eco-brand Cabello Hair & Beauty
• Hertfordshire young entrepreneurs Fabio’s Gelato
• Lincolnshire award-winning community gym, Boston Body Hub
• Norfolk-based renewable energy solution provider, Miller Installations
• Northamptonshire Cookies Bakers & Confectioners
• Suffolk Future50 company Your Telemarketing

All of your investment in CITR shares is lent to SMEs like these. As an individual (or sole trader) you can invest a minimum of £50 and a maximum of £100,000. As an incorporated business you can invest a minimum of £250 and a maximum of £100,000.

You can view a short animation, download an investment prospectus and invest at www.foundationeast.org/invest.