MAS launches financial expert service

masfinAs its ‘Manufacturing Matters’ week draws to a close, the government-backed Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) has launched a new initiative “to help manufacturing directors manage expansion and retain their best staff”.

The ‘financial expert’ scheme seeks to provide firms with access to support on critical financial issues that could hold back their growth plans.

Working with independent advisory specialists Grant Thornton, the interactive MAS workshops want to help companies understand the best options for accessing finance, tapping into alternative funding streams and unravelling the tax implications of innovation and expansion.

There will also be sessions on succession planning and strategies for retention of skilled employees, a major issue for SME manufacturers who increasingly have to compete with the incentive packages offered by larger businesses.

MAS boss Steven Barr said: “In recent research by the MAS Barometer, 30% of firms cited access to finance as a major barrier to growing their business.

“And it’s not simply securing the money they need to fund growth that is causing the managerial headaches. When questioned, directors are pointing to missing out on tax incentives they never knew were there and how to be creative in incentivising their key staff to perform and, increasingly, stay with them.”

The workshops will cover a broad range of subjects from ‘Kickstart’ funding and R&D tax credits, to auto enrolment and employee incentive schemes.

The first workshop will be held in Bristol in January, followed by regional events in Southampton, Thames Valley, Liverpool, Kent and the East Midlands.

Each session is restricted to 25 companies and places are available on a first come, first served basis.

Copyright Ken Hurst 2013

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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