Archive for the ‘co-operatives’ Category
On April 6th 2014, the UK Government will formally launch a range of tax incentives to help grow the employee ownership sector. There will be an exemption from income tax of £3,600 for certain payments made to employees of qualifying employee-owned companies, and the introduction of a relief from capital gains tax (CGT) for owners selling a controlling interest to a trust which operates for the benefit of all employees. Finally, a tax hook on which to promote employee ownership to those business owners considering their business succession options!!
Although the Centre is disappointed that direct forms of employee ownership, such as the worker co-operative model, have not been recognised, this is still a significant milestone for employee ownership. The tax incentives headline what has been a very busy 18 months of UK policy development in this area, stimulated in the main by the recommendations in the 2012 Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership, ‘Sharing Success ‘
To us at the Wales Co-operative Centre, employee ownership is an economic ‘no brainer’. Giving employees an ownership stake in a business changes their relationship with the business and encourages them to take a positive and proactive role in helping their company grow. Recent research by the Cass Business School supports this by showing that employee owned businesses are more stable and more resilient as a direct result of the employees gaining a real stake in the success of that business.
Here in Wales, we see employee ownership as a crucial succession option which can help keep jobs, business and skills in Wales. Unfortunately it is often the forgotten succession option, not being viewed as a mainstream idea by conventional business advisers. At the Wales Co-operative Centre, we have received support from Welsh Government and European Union Regional Development funding to implement employee ownership in Wales and are actively working with both businesses and advisers to put employee ownership firmly in the mainstream.
To mark the introduction of the new tax regime for employee ownership, the Wales Co-operative Centre is hosting a number of breakfast seminars looking at the benefits of employee ownership and how the new tax incentives can benefit business owners who would like to move on from the business.
The events in Cardiff, Carmarthen and Bodnant in North Wales will also consider the employee trust, how it fits with your business model, and the benefits of the model for the business owner and the employees. The seminars will be of interest to business owners interested in looking at their exit strategies and to business advisors who want to know more about the approach to advise their clients. To find out more click here.
In our view, tax should not be the sole driving factor to considering employee ownership. Many of our clients are driven by legacy, and see employee ownership as an approach that engages employees and puts them in charge of their own futures. It helps retain jobs and provides a platform for continued local business ownership and growth. However, having an additional incentive to help promote the employee ownership exit route is never a bad thing and we’ll be working hard to promote the new relief available to business owners here in Wales.
Let’s just hope those clever tax specialists don’t find some loophole which allows companies to abuse the incentive for purposes other than employee ownership, otherwise we could see it withdrawn from the market as quick as at arrived.
Further information can be found on the Wales Co-operative Centres Website http://www.walescooperative.org
Places can be booked directly by calling the Centre on 0300 111 5050.
Rhian Edwards is manager of the ERDF and Welsh Government Business Succession project at the Wales Co-operative Centre. Her team works with micro-businesses and SME’s across Wales to develop employee ownership approaches and employee ownership based succession planning.
New Capital Gains Tax rules encourage owners to sell to their staff / Rheolau newydd ar gyfer Treth ar Enillion Cyfalaf yn annog perchnogion busnes i werthu i’w staff
Business owners across the UK could be benefiting from selling their businesses to their employees when new Capital Gains Tax Reliefs come into force this April. Business owners who sell a controlling stake in their company to an Employee Share Trust, which is owned and run by all the businesses employees will be able to benefit from drastically reduced tax on the profit from the sale.
In Wales, the Wales Co-operative Centre is hosting a number of breakfast seminars looking at the benefits of employee ownership and how the new tax incentives can benefit business owners who would like to move on from the business.
The events in Cardiff, Carmarthen and Bodnant in North Wales will also consider the employee owned trust model, how employee ownership works and the benefits for the business owner and the employees.
The seminars will be of interest to business owners interested in looking at their exit strategies and to business advisors who want to know more about the approach..
Rhian Edwards is Manager of the Welsh Government and ERDF funded Succession project at the Wales Co-operative Centre. She commented,
“This new tax relief makes it extremely attractive for business owners to consider employee ownership as a planned exit strategy. It offers the best of both worlds, a tax efficient exit strategy and an approach that engages employees and puts them in charge of their own futures”.
Further information can be found on the Wales Co-operative Centres Website http://www.walescooperative.org/capital-gains-tax-events.
Places can be booked directly by calling the Centre on 0300 111 5050
Gallai perchnogion busnes ledled y DU elwa ar werthu eu busnesau i’w gweithwyr pan ddaw Ryddhad Treth ar Enillion Cyfalaf newydd i rym fis Ebrill eleni. Bydd perchnogion busnes sy’n gwerthu cyfran reoli yn eu cwmni i Ymddiriedolaeth Perchnogaeth Gweithwyr, sy’n eiddo i holl weithwyr y busnes ac yn cael ei reoli ganddynt, yn gallu elwa ar ostyngiad treth enfawr ar yr elw o’r gwerthiant.
Yng Nghymru, mae Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru’n cynnal nifer o seminarau brecwast i edrych ar fanteision perchnogaeth gweithwyr a sut y gall y cymhelliant treth newydd fod yn fuddiol i berchnogion busnes a hoffai symud ymlaen o’r busnes.
Bydd y digwyddiadau yng Nghaerdydd, Caerfyrddin a Bodnant yng Ngogledd Cymru hefyd yn ystyried yr ymddiriedolaethau newydd, sut y mae perchnogaeth gweithwyr yn gweithio a’r manteision ar gyfer perchennog y busnes a’r gweithwyr.
Bydd y seminarau o ddiddordeb i berchnogion busnes sydd â diddordeb mewn ystyried eu strategaethau ymadael ac i ymgynghorwyr busnes sy’n dymuno gwybod rhagor am yr ymagwedd er mwyn cynghori’u cleientiaid.
Rhian Edwards yw Rheolwr y prosiect Olyniaeth dan nawdd Llywodraeth Cymru a Chronfa Datblygu Rhanbarthol Ewrop yng Nghanolfan Cydweithredol Cymru. Dywedodd,
“Mae’r rhyddhad treth newydd hwn yn hynod o ddeniadol i berchnogion busnes ystyried perchnogaeth gweithwyr yn strategaeth ymadael fwriadol. Mae’n cynnig y gorau o ddau fyd, sef strategaeth ymadael sy’n effeithlon o ran treth ac ymagwedd sy’n ymglymu gweithwyr a’u gwneud yn gyfrifol am eu dyfodol eu hunain.”
Mae rhagor o wybodaeth ar gael ar wefan Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru http://www.walescooperative.org/capital-gains-tax-events.
Gellir cadw lle’n uniongyrchol hefyd trwy ffonio’r Ganolfan ar 0300 111 5050
Wales Co-operative Centre
The Wales Co-operative Centre was set up thirty years ago and ever since has been helping businesses grow, people to find work and communities to tackle the issues that matter to them. Its advisors work co-operatively across Wales, providing expert, flexible and reliable support to develop sustainable businesses and strong, inclusive communities. www.walescooperative.org
Succession and Consortia Project
The Wales Co-operative Centre’s Succession and Consortia project is funded by Welsh Government and European Regional Development Fund. It offers support to business owners and employees considering employee ownership and creation of worker co-operatives. It also offers support to businesses working to work together to form co-operative consortia.
Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru
Sefydlwyd Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru ddeng mlynedd ar hugain yn ôl ac ers hynny bu’n helpu busnesau i dyfu, pobl i gael gwaith a chymunedau i ddatrys y problemau sydd o bwys iddynt. Mae ymgynghorwyr y Ganolfan yn gweithio’n gydweithredol ledled Cymru, gan ddarparu cefnogaeth arbenigol, hyblyg a dibynadwy er mwyn datblygu busnesau cynaliadwy a chymunedau cadarn a chynhwysol. www.walescooperative.org
Prosiect Olyniaeth a Chonsortia
Ariannir prosiect Olyniaeth a Chonsortia Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru gan Lywodraeth Cymru a Chronfa Datblygu Rhanbarthol Ewrop. Mae’n cynnig cefnogaeth i berchnogion busnes a gweithwyr sy’n ystyried perchnogaeth gweithwyr a chreu mentrau cydweithredol y gweithwyr. Mae hefyd yn cynnig cefnogaeth i fusnesau sy’n gweithio ar gydweithio i ffurfio consortia cydweithredol.
The Wales Co-operative Centre’s Jocelle Lovell returns to the TAI housing conference today following last year’s sell out workshop. She will update the audience at Cardiff City Hall on the work of the Financial Inclusion team to help tenants stay in their homes.
Jocelle is Project Manager of the ‘Tackling Homelessness Through Financial Inclusion’ (THFI) project. The scheme was set up in 2012 and aims to promote the use of Credit Union Rent Accounts to reduce financial vulnerability. The initiative is supported by the Oak Foundation and the Welsh Government.
Jocelle and her colleagues support vulnerable tenants in private rented accommodation by facilitating better money management and preparing people for changes to Welfare Reform. They work in collaboration with local authorities, credit unions, private landlords and their tenants and in particular promote the use of the credit union rent accounts as an alternative to direct payment to landlords. However, the service is personalised to meet each tenants needs.
Welfare Reform and the introduction of Universal Credit have reduced household income for many families. Many of these households are facing significant new challenges around financial management and budgeting, in the context of reduced advice and information services.
Today Jocelle will be reviewing events of the past 12 months, sharing some of the key findings and lessons learned from the THFI project, along with offering some suggestions as to how we can work more effectively. She will discuss the need for us to challenge ourselves and our organisations so we can support some of our most vulnerable citizens as they face these challenges.
Jocelle’s workshop is at 10:30AM today, Wednesday.
Dave Palmer, Co-operative Housing Project Manager at the Wales Co-operative Centre is preparing to take to the stand at this year’s TAI Conference. He’ll be one of the speakers at the event’s ‘Can Do’ Corner, which is part of the wider exhibition area at the event, which is being held at Cardiff City Hall.
We’ve been given a sneak preview of Dave’s presentation and, as well as talking about how the Centre develops sustainable businesses and strong, inclusive communities by working co-operatively, he’ll be shedding light on how housing is the latest sector in Wales to benefit from this approach.
Co-operative housing is about communities having democratic control over decision-making about their homes, neighbourhoods and communities.
There are many different forms of co-operative housing, which could apply to all forms of housing tenure (i.e. home ownership, shared ownership or rented housing – either at market or affordable rents) and a mixture of tenures. All forms of co-operative housing are “not for profit” i.e. they do not distribute profit to individuals, and they recycle any “surpluses” made on budgets for the good of the local community.
The Welsh Government Housing White Paper gave a commitment to deliver 500 new homes through co-operative housing, as part of action to achieve its affordable housing target by June 2016. There are currently 3 pioneer projects in Wales, that the Wales Co-operative Centre is supporting the development of:-
Newport – 20 co-operative Shared Ownership houses at the former Pirelli Works (Loftus Gardens), being planned with Seren Group.
Cardiff – 41 Co-operative Social Rent Homes being planned with Cadwyn Housing Association.
Carmarthenshire – 27 Co-operative Intermediate Rent Houses being planned with Gwalia Group.
There are a further 17 potential co-operative housing schemes being considered in Wales and delegates to TAI 2014 will be encouraged to start schemes of their own, to help increase delivery in this area.
Dave Palmer is due to speak from the Can Do Corner, at the TAI Conference at 12.25pm on Wednesday 26th March.
For more information on co-operative housing, please visit the Wales Co-operative Centre website
Egni Co-operative was established by Awel Aman Tawe, a community renewable energy charity in South Wales, with the purpose of placing Solar PV panels on community buildings. To raise the necessary funds, Egni launched a share offer in the Senedd on February 6th which has raised £55,000 since its launch. The share offer runs until April 3rd.
In this guest blog, Dan McCallum from Egni explains more:
“At Awel Aman Tawe we work to raise awareness of clean, renewable, sustainable energy sources, and promote their use throughout the local community.
It’s the sort of project we all want to see – solar panels on key local community buildings. We surveyed about 35 buildings in total and chose the best ones for the project. There are 7 community buildings making up the project, and we’re seeking to fund the capital costs from a co-operative share offer.
Some of these buildings are well known social enterprises. Dove Workshop in Banwen and Glynneath Training Centre both offer training, community cafes, a crèche and a local hub. Perhaps less well known is Brynaman Public Hall and Institute – funded by the miners in the 1920s, run by volunteers, and now housing the largest cinema screen in Wales, alongside the most fantastic Art Deco interior.
All the buildings will benefit from free electricity from the panels, which will also save more than 1000 tonnes of CO2 over the project lifetime.
So why have we formed as a co-operative? There are several reasons. There has been a great increase in energy co-ops in England and Scotland which we’ve been able to learn from. That has been because public grants cannot pay for panels as it would disqualify the scheme from the Feed-in Tariff(FiT) . Co-operatives which raise money from the general public can benefit from the FiT, as the money generated from them comes back into the co-operative for the benefit of the members.
Setting up as a co-operative also means Egni will be run on a one member, one vote basis, This gives everyone who invests in the project an equal say in how it is managed, no matter how much they initially put in. Also, co-operatives, unlike charities, were able to pre-register for the FiT and have the rate maintained for a year. Egni took advantage of this by registering all the sites in June 2013 which means that we can take advantage of the higher rates that were available at that time.
We also want people in Wales to make more use of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme. More details can be found on the HMRC website http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/seedeis. Last week, we had the great news that our application for pre-registration for SEIS has been approved by HMRC. Tax relief is not just for the wealthy – it is likely to apply to many share applicants who are taxpayers. In short, your investment may significantly reduce your income tax bill. Here’s how it can work:
In this example, Jenny is a qualifying taxpayer who invests £1,000 in SEIS qualifying shares. The SEIS relief available is £500 (£1,000 at 50%). If her income tax liability for the year (before SEIS relief) was, for example, £4,000, she could reduce it to £3,500 as a result of her investment.
This is your chance to invest in something Welsh, sustainable and democratic. Egni is about bringing local communities together, to invest in green technology that will bring great benefits to those communities for years to come. If you’d like to play a part in that, then you can download our Share Offer Document and application form at http://egni.coop/join-egni-coop/documents/“
Dan McCallum, Director of Egni Cydweithredol Cyfyngedig Ltd
Egni is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as an Industrial and Provident Society, Registration Number 32008R.
For more information on Egni, visit www.egni.coop, or phone 01639 830870.
Matthew Close o Ganolfan Cydweithredol Cymru sy’n archwilio argymhelliad
Comisiwn Cwmnïau Cydweithredol a Chydfuddiannol Cymru bod egwyddorion
cydweithredol a chydfuddiannol yn cael eu cynnwys yn y broses ddeddfwriaethol
Mae lansiad adroddiad Comisiwn Cwmnïau Cydweithredol a
Chydfuddiannol Cymru yn cynnig llawer o gyfleoedd i’r sector cydweithredol yng
Nghymru. Yr hyn sy’n ddiddorol iawn yw’r argymhelliad ar gyfer ystyried modelau
busnes cydweithredol a chydfuddiannol yn holl bolisïau a chynlluniau newydd y
Llywodraeth, yn rhan o ymrwymiad gorfodol Llywodraeth Cymru i wneud Datblygu
Cynaliadwy yn brif egwyddor drefniadol yn ei rhaglen ddeddfwriaethol.
Mae Deddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006 yn ei gwneud yn orfodol i Lywodraeth Cymru
osod cynllun ar gyfer hyrwyddo Datblygu Cynaliadwy wrth weithredu ei
swyddogaethau, ac aeth ati gyflawni hyn ar ffurf Cymru’n Un, Cenedl Un Blaned. Mae’r ddogfen hon yn diffinio Datblygu
Cynaliadwy fel a ganlyn:
“gwella lles economaidd,
cymdeithasol ac amgylcheddol pobl a chymunedau, gan sicrhau ansawdd bywyd gwell
i’n cenhedlaeth ni a chenedlaethau’r dyfodol.” [i]
Un o brif bwyntiau ffocws y Cynllun yw sicrhau economi gynaliadwy sy’n
hydwyth i effeithiau negyddol newidiadau economaidd byd eang ac sy’n cefnogi
twf busnes cynaliadwy. Mae busnesau a sefydlwyd trwy fodelau cydweithredol a
chydfuddiannol wedi dangos eu bod yn fwy hydwyth i newidiadau economaidd
niweidiol. Ar hyn o bryd mae 446 o sefydliadau cydweithredol yn gweithredu yng
nghalon cymunedau ledled Cymru, sy’n eiddo i’r bobl yn y cymunedau hynny ac yn
cael eu gweithredu ganddynt, ac sy’n cyfrannu gwerth £1.54 biliwn o drosiant
blynyddol i economi Cymru.[ii] O fusnesau
bach fel That Useful Company a
Barod, i gwmnïau mwy megis Dulas a’r cymdeithasu tai cydfuddiannol newydd,
mae busnesau cydweithredol a chydfuddiannol yng Nghymru yn enghreifftiau da o
gwmnïau sy’n gallu cefnogi’r weledigaeth o economi gynaliadwy a nodir yng Nghynllun
Datblygu Cynaliadwy Llywodraeth Cymru.
Pwynt ffocws arall Cymru’n Un, Cenedl
Un Blaned yw’r ymdrech i sicrhau bod gan Gymru gymdeithas gref, iach a
chynhwysol. Mae mynediad i dai o safon mewn marchnad dai amrywiol yn cael ei
nodi yn y Cynllun fel dangosydd allweddol ar gyfer cymdeithas gynaliadwy. Mae
modelau cydweithredol a chydfuddiannol eisoes yn chwarae rôl allweddol yn y
maes hwn. Mae cwmnïau cydfuddiannol tai cymunedol
megis RCT Homes wedi’u strwythuro yn y fath fodd er mwyn galluogi
eu tenantiaid i bob pwrpas ddod yn rhanddeiliaid, a rhoi llais iddynt o ran y modd y mae’r
sefydliad yn cael ei redeg a’i weithredu.
Mae ein hymchwil diweddar hefyd wedi
dangos bod galw am fodelau tai cydweithredol yng Nghymru, sy’n cynnig y cyfle i
bobl ddatblygu cymunedau cryf, cynhwysol ac ar yr un pryd darparu dewis hyfyw
arall yn lle opsiynau prif ffrwd y farchnad dai, y mae mwy a mwy o bobl yn cael
anhawster cael mynediad iddi. Mae ein Prosiect Tai Cydweithredol yn darparu
cymorth i sefydliadau sy’n archwilio’r potensial o ddatblygu prosiectau tai
cydweithredol ledled Cymru neu sydd wrthi’n gwneud hynny.
cydweithredol yn amlwg mewn sawl rhan arall o Gymru. Mae llawer o drefi a
phentrefi yn elwa ar fusnesau cydweithredol cymunedol, sy’n fusnesau a
sefydlwyd i ddarparu gwasanaethau i’w hardal benodol nhw. Gall y rhain amrywio
o siopau a thafarndai cymunedol megis Siop y Bobl a Saith Seren, i
sefydliadau chwaraeon megis Ymddiriedolaeth Cefnogwyr Wrecsam. Mae
cynlluniau cyfranddaliadau cymunedol yn enghraifft arall o werthoedd a modelau cydweithredol
ar waith, oherwydd maent yn galluogi grwpiau a sefydliadau i dynnu cyfalaf o’r
union gymunedau y mae eu mentrau yn ceisio bod o fudd iddynt. O adfywio
cymunedol i gynlluniau pŵer amgylcheddol megis ffermydd gwynt cymunedol a
gweithfeydd hydro-electrig, maent yn cynnig cyfle i’r sefydliadau hyn ffynnu
gan sicrhau datblygu cynaliadwy gwirioneddol.
Mae’r enghreifftiau hyn yn dangos bod modelau busnes cydweithredol a chydfuddiannol
yn gallu cynyddu’n fawr y debygoliaeth o gynhyrchu economi a chymdeithas
gynaliadwy yng Nghymru. Rydym o’r farn y gallai’r argymhelliad hwn roi lle
blaenllaw i gydweithredu yn ein proses ddeddfwriaethol, ac mae’n cynnig cyfle
unigryw i Lywodraeth Cymru gynnwys egwyddorion ac ethos cydweithredu wrth
wraidd y tirlun gwleidyddol yng Nghymru.
Un: Cenedl Un Blaned: Cynllun Datblygu Cynaliadwy Llywodraeth Cymru.
Llywodraeth Cymru, 2009, tud.8
[ii] Cynhenid: Yr Economi Gydweithredol yng Nghymru
2013. Cyhoeddwyd gan Co-operatives UK a Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru.