South East Business Boost- Growth Grants & Workshops Funded By The EU

Don’t be held back by a lack of funds! South East Business Boost launched the last tranche of EU funding that will be available to businesses in the South East back in October.

And Lollipop Local’s digital marketing experts are proud to be helping to promote this with a new website and social media campaign. There’s £2.5m to give away!

Growth Grants

south-east-business-boost-1env-growth-grantSouth East Business Boost has experienced Business Advisors primed and ready to help start-ups to find their feet and ambitious SMEs take their business to the next level. If you’re a small to medium sized business based in Essex, Kent or East Sussex you could receive a grant of between £1,000 and £10,000. A grant is not a loan! They don’t have to be paid back.

Register your interest here and take the quiz to find out if you are eligible.

From new equipment and machinery to new technology and processes, if it helps your business to GROW then you could reclaim 30% of the total cost up to a maximum grant of £10,000.

Case Studies – Growth Grants In Action

Here’s how 1env solutions, E. Christian & Co and Hoppily found the process.

Free Business Support

boost-your-south-east-business-take-offThere is also FREE one to one support and advice on how to GROW both fledgeling and established businesses. This is ideal for your business if you:

  • are not eligible for the SEBB Capital Grant
  • need advice prior to applying for the grant
  • need a business coach/consultant, mentoring or just a fresh pair of eyes

Tailored to your circumstances, this training has an average value of £1,000 and contributes CIPD points for your staff development.

Popular workshops include:

  • Introduction to Project Management
  • Finance for non-finance managers
  • HR for non-HR managers

Complete the form on this page to find out more

The South East Business Boost Programme has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020. It is a Partnership between Essex County Council, Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, and Thurrock Council.

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Dropping Off On The ZigZags Is An Offence

One of the parents at school alerted me to something which was published in the Daily Mail on 13th March.

A dad had stopped to let his child get out of the car in Shoeburyness.

But he had done it on the zigzags on the approach to a zebra crossing by a school.

I see this every morning on my crossing.

Sometimes I am stopping the traffic to let people cross but, on other occasions, I am not.

And yet parents still stop their cars at the crossing with no thought for the drivers in the cars behind them.

Their child then opens the door and gets out in the road.  In most cases between the railing and the pavement .

The railing is there to confirm that passengers are not encouraged to alight from cars onto the pavement in this area.

The zigzags are there to indicate that cars are not allowed to park in this area.

However I have also seen them get out into the middle of the road into the path of oncoming traffic.

The parent in the article found himself the recipient of a fixed penalty notice for £70 – £35 if he pays within 15 days.

He is not very happy.

But he has committed an offence!

You are not allowed to park on the zigzags.  If someone is getting out of the car, you have not just stopped, you have parked.

It is as simple as that.



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Save Our Lollipop Patrols in Essex

It made front page news on the Echo back on March 18th. Plans by Essex County Council to start cutting back on lollipop people.

Rodney Bass, the highways boss said that, whilst no decisions had yet been made, the authority should no longer have to pay for a lollipop person where there was already a ‘perfectly satisfactoryt crossing’. According to the Echo report, Mr Bass suggested that volunteers, such as teachers, could run the patrols and parents could pay for them.

I’m on my crossing every day. After several years of playing chicken with the traffic, I now have a zebra crossing to help to keep both me and the children safe.

But it’s not just about helping children to cross the road.

It’s about shepherding and marshalling the stray three to six year olds who find their way out of the playground without their grown up.

It’s keeping an eye on who is going home with whom.

It’s watching out for bullying or children who are not their normal cheerful selves – which might signify a problem at home.

And it’s about looking out for strange people who are hanging around the crossing.

My job is to give children an adult that they can trust who is immediately available and not judgemental right outside the school gates.

I’m lucky – Southend Borough Council have not said they will be cutting back as yet. But my heart goes out to all the other lollipop people whose jobs are at risk.

If you would like to sign the petition against the cuts, you can go to

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4 Things To Remember When Submitting a Tax Return Online For A Pensioner

For the last three years, I have helped my 80 year old Dad to submit a tax return online.

Each year I am amazed at how difficult they make the process – even for people like me who are familiar with online forms.

Some of the questions are almost incomprehensible if you are not an accountant.  And some of the fields require a 0 whilst others need to be left blank.  It is very inconsistent!

This year I thought I would make a note of the things which came up this year – some of which have caused issues in previous years.

1.  All figures should be net

You  no longer have to add in a gross figure, a net figure and the tax you have paid – as you used to do on a paper tax return.  You just add in the net figure and the submission software will work out the gross figure for you.

2. If you draw a state pension, you will have 13 payments

The state pension is paid 4 weekly not monthly so you will have 13 payments to add in.  Some people receive a notification telling them the total.  But if you don’t get this, you will need to look at your bank statement and add the 13 payments together yourself.

3. Do not fill out the state pension lump sum box if you only get the 13 payments

There are two different sections where they talk about the state pension.  The first page is where you add in your total from the 13 payments.  Do NOT add it in again on the next page where they talk about a state pension lump sum payment.  If you do, you will get a nasty shock in the calculation section at the end.  My Dad ended up owing the tax man over £3k!  When we queried this with them, they told us that we had effectively added in his pension twice.


4. Tax, NIC (Class 4) Contributions and Student Loans Result on the final page

When we got to the final calculation, it said in bold that For Tax, NIC (Class 4) Contributions and Student Loans my Dad owed them about £40.

As he said ‘But I don’t have a Student Loan!’  This is a cover all composite statement.  You don’t need to go back through your tax return to check that you have not filled out the section on Student Loans or NIC contributions by mistake – like we did!

My question?  If all his figures are net how does he owe them any tax at all.  Surely it is being taken off at source?

Paying HMRC

Then, of course, there was the problem of working out how to pay them.  We did eventually find a ‘How to pay‘ link but to complete this, you need  your SA reference
(10 digits plus letter ‘K’) also known as the UTR.

Eventually we found this in the account reference on the paying in form at the bottom of the letter from HMRC reminding him that he needed to submit his return.

Good Luck!  And remember, it has to be in by 31 January or you get a £100 fine.

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Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Sponsored Walk For Wards 2013

walk for wards
walk for wards

My friend, Elise Fleetwood is the Events & Corporate Relations Manager at the Department of Fundraising & Voluntary Services for Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She asked me if I would help to get the word out about their Sponsored Walk 2013

Click here to see the WALK FOR WARDS POSTER

Walkers will be sponsored to raise money for a ward or department of your choice

Details of the event are as follows:

When: Sunday 22 September 2013
Meet: 10am – Uncle Toms Cabin

Activity: 7km Seafront Stroll or 18km Hadleigh Hike

For further info or to register, please contact the Fundraising team on 01702 385337
or email:

Online Reg Form:

Website info:

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