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Financial aid for business's ?

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:50 am
by Martin
Is there anyone we can contact re getting financial help when business's aret taking in profit , help with council tax etc ? we just recieved a letter from the council threatening us with court and we may lose the house :( , in the last month we have made, in profit, a grand total of £65, mainly due to cancelled shows, bad weather keeping punters in etc.
I made a payment to the council at the beginning of August but they have no record of it, the bank says it didnt go out so all I can assume is that the person putting the payment through didnt do it correctly or something, the money must have got swallowed up by other bills .
I've been racking my brains trying to think of a solution but I cant think of one.
Sorry about yet another "hard luck" story but I dont know what to do, we have a very good show coming up next w/end and suzie is at a bike rally this w/end, if the weather is OK we "should" do well, but if it rains no one goes out on their bikes to a rally :?
Is there help we can get from the dole office or something for weeks when we dont make any money ? its getting towards winter and if I cant find something then we are well and truly sunk, what sticks in my throat most is that the problems we're facing are things we have no control over, weather, police cancelling shows etc
After 4 years it really seems like this is the crucial point, I have two choices

A. pack it in and become unemployed but have more money coming in cos it would be easier and more financialy stable to be claiming from the gov
B. Struggle on as we are, which isnt to bad as we dont go out lots and spend lots of cash but the stress of going to court and risking losing the house etc is starting to make me ill

sorry about the whinge but I dont know who to ask , the local CAB is closed down and if I spend hours at the dole office Im not making stock that we need, we're selling bits and pieces butat least 2 shows this last month have cost us money to do
:roll: :cry:

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:51 am
by Kate Tiler
Martin - pm Lucy the Tudor, I remember her writing something here on the forum about Family Credit & calculating her earnings being self-employed.

Just look on the singles banter thread for her most recent post!

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:30 pm
by Skevmeister
As Kate says talk to the Tax Office about Family credit, and also to to C A B see if they can help you out and I would also talk to the Insolvency Service, about advice on creditors etc, they don't just deal with Bankrupts, they are the original source for all the information to do with Voluntary arrangements, and they don't charge not like all the other debt agencies you see on TV.

In fact mate I would start there first forwarned is forearmed, and you may have some way to put the b&stards at the council off your tale whilst you get staright


Alixx

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:13 pm
by paul atkin
MARIN PM ME WITH SOME DETAILS have you had a final demand or a summons

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:18 am
by lucy the tudor
Horrid of me not to know this one, but Martin, have you got kids in your household, I haven't seen you with any- but that just may be my usual complete lack of observational skills...?
Lucy

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:13 pm
by Martin
Hi Lucy
yep , we have one girl, aged 11 ( going on 16 :) ), we're getting some Family Tax Credits but suzie deals with that so Im not sure how much and I know its not great, Im worried about the forms etc that I may need to fill in,I have trouble with forms etc (part of my discalcula thing ) and suzie is working flat out trying to hold down a job and do markets at weekends, we just dont have the time to even find help around here with the forms etc :wink: , sounds trite and lazy but its not that we're lazy just to manic at the moment trying to get on top of things after such a poo year, we've been away an awful lot but at moslty crap shows earning no money and cos we're out of the house most of the time when we are in we're trying to restock and not sleeping. :)
for example this weekend Suzie did a bike rally
Pitch Fee..£100
Travel.....£30
Expenses...£50
Days away from home 4
Due to the crap weather and nobody out shopping she took
£235
once we've factored in the stock we had to replace etc, time it took to make she probably broke even but only just.
Though at a good rally on a good weekend its worth it but when the weather is against you its hard :?
and I did a local " community" Farmers market that recently put its pitch fee up 33% overnight, takings have dropped by 40% as the organisors have opened a 2nd market the day before in roughly the same area so actual customers have dropped as some go to the saturday market

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:10 pm
by lucy the tudor
pmed you
Lucy

Posted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:16 am
by The Gingerbread Lady
Hey there Mart, am in a similar boat myself - my van and its contents got nicked, events cancelled and this weekend took £43 - just enough to cover petrol home. Bank bounced mortgage last month so now have to find this months and pay last months by friday - have pleaded poverty and got a refund on some of the bank charges and the bank suggested cancelling all direct debits and paying as little as possible as and when i can until i get afloat again. I understand where you coming from re health too, i seem to have a fluctuating migraine but its just stress - had to do last weeks food shop with 20p's and 50p's - most embarrassing but the shop were pleased for the change, even if it did take 15 minutes to pay!
Am thinking of you honey - we will get through this, by the skin of our teeth, but we do have good friends on the circuit, some have been there and have come through the other side unscathed, am sure we will do the same - keep yer chin up and big hugs to you, Suzie & Daisy :lol:

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:11 pm
by Lady Roos
Dear Martin and Family, sorry to hear that things are getting this tight.
There is a third option though; get employment elsewhere.
Don't say signing on or struggling on are the only options you have.
Get a job over the winter months - you'll sleep better without the worry, and see how things pan out next year. I know 4 years is a long time to chuck everything in, but postphoning it can't do any harm. People still know that you are around and will place orders again when the either the weather or the economic climate perk up. Frankly, never mind how lovely your stuff is, people are feeling the pinch all round, and may think twice before spending money on the 'luxury' treats in life like your products.
I hope all works out.

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:35 pm
by seamsmistress
To some extent, i agree with lady roos. With people tightening their belts, worried about the fuel bills to come in the spring and how to eat well cost effectively, spending on 'treats' or none essentials is something they might think twice about. However.....and it's a big BUT.....Whilst all this dratted dreariness is going on, people still need to 'live'and that means rewarding ourselves with the occasional small cost effective 'treat'.
Whereas it might have been a meal out every weekend, it may now mean a Marks & spencers £10 meal for two in front of the telly. In martins case, he seems to have a clientele who are quite addicted to his product and he has the advantage that it is foody and reasonably good value for money. I think these things are a matter of scale.

I have noticed that tesco has undergone a rapid rebranding exercise in an effort to place itself alongside the Aldi's and similar with the strap line Britains 'biggest discounter'. And marketing is where I think it's at for Martin as well. I'll give him this - he's a consistant 'trier', but I do think he fails on selling the benefits of his product and now more than ever, people need good clear reasons to part with what little disposable income they have.

I know Martin mentioned that Suzie is looking for a full time job and I agree that perhaps he should consider looking for regular part time paid employment elsewhere, but given their geographical location, I'm not sure that there's that much out there TBH. That doesn't mean he shouldn't try though - family, in these times, has to come first and that may mean making some unpalatable descisions. It could be that Martin could take advantage of this downturn by looking for business &/ marketing courses run locally for free?

Just my thoughts

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:13 am
by Eyemo
Forgive me if this has been mentioned, but I think the dole office will help cover interest payments on your mortgage…You’ll have to find out more from them… Sadly, I found this out too late..

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:01 pm
by Hobbitstomper
Doorman work over the winter? I suspect you have the necessary confidence, social skills and physical presence. Might have to get a licence off your local authority first- Dreadnought might know.

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:29 pm
by Martin
There is a third option though; get employment elsewhere.
none round here and also I have put to much effort in to give up lol :) , also if there are people at where we are trading we do well, all our range is around £2.50 so selling isnt a problem we dont have a problem with shifting the stuff, if there are no people are around though it dont matter how good are stuff is we wseel little bits then have to use the money we make to keep stock up, catch 22 :lol:

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:53 pm
by Drachelis
Have you looked into grants from the welsh development agency? I believe that you are in one of the areas that pull in EU funding. Worth a bash.

cherry
Shadowlight Designs

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:58 pm
by Sigurd-Luke
Martin, have you looked in to getting Working Tax Credits?

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:37 pm
by Jenn
try this website for benefits and tax credits etc it's quite helpful as to what you're eligible for etc
www.entitledto.co.uk

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:33 am
by Vermin
Martin

Have a look at this - http://www.business-support-wales.gov.uk/ - It's newly launched as a central hub to replace Business Eye and a host of the other business support functions

If I'm honest I doubt it's much different from what was there before but as it's new they will be keen to be seen to be good.

I hate to say it, but the trick is to be a pain in the a*se - if you kick up enough fuss + definetly contact your AM and MP - you will tend to get something just to go away

Don't be rude - just annoyingly persistent

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:24 pm
by Nigel
I would listen to what this man says martin he sort of knows a lot of which he speaks :D

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:18 pm
by Martin
cheers guys, Im dedicating this week to following some of these suggestions up, cheers again

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:25 pm
by steve stanley
Hobbitstomper wrote:Doorman work over the winter? I suspect you have the necessary confidence, social skills and physical presence. Might have to get a licence off your local authority first- Dreadnought might know.


It's not local,but National...The Security Industry Authority....My license is about £240 for three years,& I know the doorman one is more...& 'freelance' is harder 'cos you have to do an accredited course in 'conflict management' to apply for ANY SIA license...Oh...& it can take a couple of months.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:57 am
by Martin
dont have the patience to be a doorman, theres an awful lot of tossers out there, that frankly after a few beers need a dig or two ! 8)

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:27 pm
by Flesh&Blood
Martin wrote:dont have the patience to be a doorman, theres an awful lot of tossers out there, that frankly after a few beers need a dig or two ! 8)


Now this is a common sense answer, but just the type that the SIA examiner would not want to see :lol: :lol:

Couple of months,SIA, ROFL, I know people who have been waiting over 10 months, and still counting!

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:49 pm
by Phil the Grips
Its a cheap and quick way to make longterm dolesc*m "employable" and therefore get them off the books so your local course is likely to have a very long waiting list as the council/jobby book them well in advance and turn them into "stewards" for the footy matches.

Strangley I used to be a doorman, was the first voluntarily licenced doorman in Scotland at 19 (by dint of answering all the questions fastest), taught doormen so they could get a voluntary licence, used to sit on the Licencing Board but can't be a doorman now cos I aint got SIA.

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:39 am
by seamsmistress
Phil the Grips wrote:Its a cheap and quick way to make longterm dolesc*m "employable" and therefore get them off the books so your local course is likely to have a very long waiting list as the council/jobby book them well in advance and turn them into "stewards" for the footy matches.



That's a rather broad statement and in the case of my lad, a long way from the truth. Prior to going to university he worked at a call centre and paid his own way through the course. Then, when he got to university, the resulting work as SIA qualified doorman helped him with his fees through the 3 years. Since passing 18 months ago, he has continued with the doorwork at the same time as working full time in the education section of the Council.

Listening to some of the 'events' he has witnessed, I can see where you're coming from, but please don't tar them all with same brush!

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:30 pm
by Pete the Pong
Martin,
There is an old saying, "a gift demands a gift". Financial aid, grants etc etc are very difficult to get -and almost invariably have strings attatched. Even the Tooth Fairy has to be given something back in return for her money.
To be honest, I suspect that (like myself), you are unemployable. And anyway the sort of job you might be able to pick up would be so badly paid that you actually might end up losing money, once travelling to work, child care etc has been covered. So in reality you are back to finding ways of selling more goods.
So what could you do? Well, like it or loathe it we have the biggest annual consumer fest nearly upon us. Can I make a suggestion? How about re-labelling some stock as adult "stocking fillers"? Then putting a one line small ad in a few of the "Personal" columns to the effect of "Tasty Treats for your Xmas Stocking" and directing them a page on your website with some special offers on it!
As a "marketing reseach" exercise I'm now going to put up a thread on the Friends and Gossip" column to see what people would be interested in. Angela, you might be interested in this as well!!!!!

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:11 pm
by Scottish Lady
Hi Martin, as far as an SIA Licence goes, the best way to get one is to get someone else to pay for you to do it. Even when I'd passed the exams for SIA, (so I can be a 'Security Receptionist'), I had to wait 6 months before they finally decided that all my documentation etc. etc. was OK. It took 3 months and goodness knows how many emails before I got my original identity documents back, and that included my passport, birth certificate and divorce papers..! I think Pete has a good idea with his 'Stocking fillers'.

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:30 pm
by steve stanley
Scottish Lady wrote:Hi Martin, as far as an SIA Licence goes, the best way to get one is to get someone else to pay for you to do it. Even when I'd passed the exams for SIA, (so I can be a 'Security Receptionist'), I had to wait 6 months before they finally decided that all my documentation etc. etc. was OK. It took 3 months and goodness knows how many emails before I got my original identity documents back, and that included my passport, birth certificate and divorce papers..! I think Pete has a good idea with his 'Stocking fillers'.


Yep,My original one took 8 months....Hopefully,my renewel will be quicker,(and at least my new company pays for them... :) )...just learnt I'll also need the CCTV one next year.....
Steve