Business leader Jeremy Middleton has said tax incentives for those investing in social enterprises could act as a funding catalyst for thousands of North East firms.
Among the many initiatives announced in the budget last month, Chancellor George Osborne introduced a new piece of legislation which will see financiers given a 30% tax relief on all investments into social enterprises.
Middleton, who runs Newcastle-based firm Middleton Enterprises, has said the legislation could have a particularly dramatic impact within the region where there are thousands of these organisations, potentially helping millions to be invested in social enterprises.
Middleton said: “This new legislation is extremely important for social enterprises. The incentive is an extremely attractive enticement for people who have money to invest and who want to put it into an organisation which has strong and positive values which will help to build society.
“It could potentially unlock millions of pounds of funding for this type of organisation, enabling investors to put more money into businesses with a social conscience, helping companies which make a tangible and sustainable difference to society to grow and prosper.”
The new incentives will apply to investments made after April 6, 2014, in a community interest company, a community benefit society or a charity. Each social enterprise will be able to raise £290,000 over a three year period through this relief.
The investment firm chief executive, who does philanthropic work with St Oswald’s Hospice and homelessness charity Changing Lives, established a Community Enterprise Fund in 2007 which was focused on helping charities establish commercial ventures.
He has more recently championed the establishment of a Social Enterprise Investment Fund, led by the Northern Rock.