Dear EISA members,

This is quite literally a call to arms – please read and take action.

As you know, EISA have been lobbying hard for significant, short-term changes to the EIS and SEIS schemes to combat the existential threat to investee companies of coronavirus. We know others have too.

Nobody wants to see businesses fail through no fault of their own due to the wider macro situation. So our simple objective for the industry at this time is to continue to facilitate and deliver equity funding from private investors to those start-up and scale-up businesses who have been identified as 1) most in need in the short term to keep them going and 2) have potential to be long term, high growth businesses.

Helping these businesses survive the short term crisis should enable them to achieve their long term ambitions. Once in that position, they will start to pay back that short term trust and investment through significant tax revenue and employment for the benefit of the UK economy (and boy, are we going to need that in the coming years!).

And don’t forget many of these are knowledge intensive based companies directly and indirectly involved in the fight against coronavirus!

Action needed

Through our discussions with HMT this week, we have been told that if we want the Govt to direct more taxpayer support into the tax-advantaged VC sector, or remove restrictions on fund-managers which were reconfirmed during the PCR, we need to provide them with a clear evidential base for what that increased tax support is expected to produce.

EISA are therefore asking for you to provide us with examples of this evidence. Specifically:

We feel, from our discussions, that the door to potential short term changes has opened slightly.

Therefore, if you want to see changes to the scheme as EISA have already outlined and I know many of you do, including raising the rate of income tax to 60%, then we need you to act now and quickly.

Help us, help you by providing us with the evidence highlighted above urgently so we can collate responses back to Government. Please note, to be effective, this must be in the form of evidence rather than vague, non specific generalisations on issues.

Please email me directly with your examples of evidence, noting which bullet point above they cover – I look forward to receiving them at:

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