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If Trainwest usually makes a profit of circa £10k then the claim is quite reasonable and justified. If Trainwest usually only makes say £2k then that is profiteering out of other's misery.

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43 minutes ago, Chris M said:

If Trainwest usually makes a profit of circa £10k then the claim is quite reasonable and justified. If Trainwest usually only makes say £2k then that is profiteering out of other's misery.

 

But Trainwest has not been cancelled. It has been postponed.

 

I do wonder whether that is fair on other clubs who might have their exhibition made less viable.

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50 minutes ago, Chris M said:

If Trainwest usually makes a profit of circa £10k then the claim is quite reasonable and justified. If Trainwest usually only makes say £2k then that is profiteering out of other's misery.

 

6 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

But Trainwest has not been cancelled. It has been postponed.

 

I do wonder whether that is fair on other clubs who might have their exhibition made less viable.

 

But the point is that the government is offering this money, and the reason is to keep businesses, etc. viable.

This will speed up the recovery of the economy after this situation starts to get better, and as part of that

process, people need hobbies, leisure activities, etc. for their mental well-being.

If this prevents some folks getting depression (because their club has shut) then that saves putting another

burden on the NHS, which could cost more than £10k over their lifetime, then it's good value, IMHO.

 

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1 minute ago, [email protected] said:

 

 

But the point is that the government is offering this money, and the reason is to keep businesses, etc. viable.

This will speed up the recovery of the economy after this situation starts to get better, and as part of that

process, people need hobbies, leisure activities, etc. for their mental well-being.

If this prevents some folks getting depression (because their club has shut) then that saves putting another

burden on the NHS, which could cost more than £10k over their lifetime, then it's good value, IMHO.

 

 

It has not offered it to my business. And that is certainly making me (and my employee) very stressed and depressed.

 

But my remark was about rescheduling the exhibition. I like Trainwest and have been many times over the years. But is it fair on other clubs who already had shows planned on the new date and will lose footfall to Trainwest.

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9 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

It has not offered it to my business. And that is certainly making me (and my employee) very stressed and depressed.

 

But my remark was about rescheduling the exhibition. I like Trainwest and have been many times over the years. But is it fair on other clubs who already had shows planned on the new date and will lose footfall to Trainwest.

 

Maybe in your area the council is not so pro-active, you might need to search for it and apply?

 

Do we know that they've chosen a date that clashes with, or compromises, another show?

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54 minutes ago, [email protected] said:

 

Maybe in your area the council is not so pro-active, you might need to search for it and apply?

 

Do we know that they've chosen a date that clashes with, or compromises, another show?

 

I have checked the Council website and that says they will contact (as per Govt website). The do signpost the local LEP as a business advice hub so I have e-mailed them.

 

It would be fairly remarkable if a new date in Autumn does not conflict with another show. But I have not checked.

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Thinking about it, unless the date chosen was the same as another/large show in the area,

I don't think there will be a problem.

Most of us will be desperate to get back to normal, and most of us (not all I know) will have 

not spent as much as usual on our hobby, so I think those that would have gone to only 1

show a month, could well consider 2 shows a month!

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2 hours ago, [email protected] said:

 

 

But the point is that the government is offering this money, and the reason is to keep businesses, etc. viable.

This will speed up the recovery of the economy after this situation starts to get better, and as part of that

process, people need hobbies, leisure activities, etc. for their mental well-being.

If this prevents some folks getting depression (because their club has shut) then that saves putting another

burden on the NHS, which could cost more than £10k over their lifetime, then it's good value, IMHO.

 

Exactly - the MH consequences of the crisis will be significant and long lasting and anything that helps will be critical as public services will be swamped, especially for those who have lost loved ones and friends.

 

I really don't get the grizzles around this. It is pretty much automatic as per the OP with clear and straightforward criteria. There will also be businesses who are trading successfully during this period and receive it, so will just be profit for them. The important thing is that everyone who receives/uses the money constructively to help the economy recover post-crisis.

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3 hours ago, Chris M said:

If Trainwest usually makes a profit of circa £10k then the claim is quite reasonable and justified. If Trainwest usually only makes say £2k then that is profiteering out of other's misery.

How is receiving a grant for which they qualify "profiteering" out of others misery? What about lots of other businesses that will qualify for it and are still trading successfully? Or the superwealthy busy furloughing staff to protect their personal wealth? I really do think it mean and uninformed to make accusations like this, especially as the OP posted to help others in this challenging time. If they make a few grand extra (and that is what we are talking about here, a few thousand quid whilst multi-billionaires are coining it in right now at our expense) frankly in the grand scheme of things who cares? As long as they use the money to benefit the club or local community then that is a good thing.

 

The application of these grants is pretty simplistic and arbitrary due to the urgency of the situation. Or is the argument being levied here that local authority staff should be sending out and then processing 30 page forms for every business in the country before allocating any money? I'd love to hear the grizzlers' alternative proposals - anything more complex than an arbitrary scheme based upon existing datasets etc will massively add to delay and cost to getting money out - who exactly does that help or benefit?

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34 minutes ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

 

Forgive my ignorance please, but what is a LEP?

 

Sorry, Paul! I am the first to complain when people use TLA's (three letter acronyms).

 

Local Enterprise Partnership.

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My understanding of these grants is that large businesses are having their rates bills for the coming year waived, which means that it reduces their overheads for this tax year and should make it easier for them to continue trading.  However, waiving business rates is not much use to the many small businesses who pay either no business rates at all or pay at a reduced level because the rateable value of their property is below the relevant threshold, which is about £18,000. 

 

Therefore, to assist those businesses, instead of treating them in the same way as larger companies a fixed value grant of £10,000 is being given instead.  It doesn't reduce their overheads, but provides a cash contribution towards their other running costs (rent / loan payments, utility bills, insurance etc) while they are unable to trade.

 

The reason why many small businesses don't pay business rates is because they currently qualify for a rebate under the Small Business Exemption Scheme and this is the criteria being used to access these grants.  Many model railway clubs were treated as businesses pre-Covid-19, which is why many qualified for a rates exemption under the Small Business Exemption Scheme.

 

My understanding is that local authorities should, in theory, pay the money automatically to all qualifying businesses that have a rate exemption under the Small Business Exemption Scheme, but of course in practise they can only do so if they hold bank account details for those businesses.  The local authority will almost certainly have no bank account details for the smallest businesses, who pay no business rates, so it is up to the owners of these businesses to get onto the local council's website and download the appropriate form or apply on-line (different councils handle the process differently).  Obviously for the businesses with larger properties, who pay some business rates, the local authority may have a contact e-mail address and can therefore get in touch to invite applications, which is obviously what happened in the case or the original post.

 

The only 'question' is whether a model railway club is really a 'business' and whether a model railway club that is stripped of it's source of income (eg from exhibitions, and members fees on meeting nights) should be allowed to fail simply because the Government has mandated the temporary closure of the club.  There is a long list of 'properties' that don't qualify including 'car parks' and 'toilet blocks', etc, but properties such as workshops qualify, and I'd say that's what most model railway clubs are.

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I don't make the rules, I merely apply them.

 

There has been a lot of speculation concerning the postponement of Trainwest so perhaps I should clarify things.

 

We did not choose the new date. It was the only one offered to us by the leisure centre. It does not clash with any other nearby exhibitions. We would not have gone ahead if it did. 

 

The show has already lost money. We have paid out a four figure sum for hotel deposits, leaflet printing and leaflet delivery. That money will not be recovered so to that extent the grant is useful.

 

The main reason for running Trainwest is social, not financial. It makes nowhere near as much money as people seem to think. Last year the show made £907.85. There are far better ways of raising funds.

 

If you think the show is the reason we can afford to own our own clubroom, think again. Our premises were paid for by loans totalling £60,000 from six club members and a legacy of £45,000 from our former Chairman, Chris Young. It would take an awful lot of exhibitions to come anywhere near that sort of money.

 

I have been looking at the finances for the October show this morning and there is a distinct possibility that it might lose money. The grant enables us to go ahead without worrying too much about that possibility.

 

So who does benefit financially? A small local business called Digiprint gets about £2,000 from us for printing leaflets and guides. They are closed at the moment and need organisations like us to keep going if they are to have a future.

 

A company called J P Distribution put leaflets through letterboxes. They have had to stop work for now. They charge £35 per thousand leaflets and usually deliver 30,000 leaflets for Trainwest. They must want us to keep going.

 

We book every room in six local hotels at a total cost of about £4,500. Those are usually quiet in October and will welcome our business.

 

There are others, but I hope that people will see that the grant will be used as intended - putting money back in to the local economy.

 

Then of course there are the small model railway businesses which have been finding things hard of late. I have already offered space to some of our regulars at the heavily discounted price of zero.

 

So please do come to Trainwest in October because in doing so you will be supporting both the hobby and local businesses. Isn't that the purpose of the government grant?

 

Geoff Endacott

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11 hours ago, Geoff Endacott said:

 

So please do come to Trainwest in October because in doing so you will be supporting both the hobby and local businesses. Isn't that the purpose of the government grant?

 

Geoff Endacott

 

There is unlikely to be a cure for the virus by then. Maybe large  gatherings of people may still be an issue.

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It may be within the ‘rules’ to claim it but is it morally correct to do so?

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31 minutes ago, BoD said:

It may be within the ‘rules’ to claim it but is it morally correct to do so?

 

Yes. I thought I had explained that the money will ultimately be used to support the local economy which is exactly what it is intended to do.

 

Is it morally correct to spend your spare time building model railways when you could be volunteering at your local hospital?

 

Geoff Endacott

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On 19/04/2020 at 13:50, Geoff Endacott said:

So who does benefit financially? A small local business called Digiprint gets about £2,000 from us for printing leaflets and guides. They are closed at the moment and need organisations like us to keep going if they are to have a future.

 

A company called J P Distribution put leaflets through letterboxes. They have had to stop work for now. They charge £35 per thousand leaflets and usually deliver 30,000 leaflets for Trainwest. They must want us to keep going.

 

We book every room in six local hotels at a total cost of about £4,500. Those are usually quiet in October and will welcome our business.

 

There are others, but I hope that people will see that the grant will be used as intended - putting money back in to the local economy.

 

Then of course there are the small model railway businesses which have been finding things hard of late. I have already offered space to some of our regulars at the heavily discounted price of zero.

 

I think you make an excellent case for why it is appropriate for you to receive a Government grant.  Each of these suppliers that you highlight will no doubt have furloughed staff and applied for the same or similar grants themselves to help see their business through the next few months (ie when they are closed).  That will hopefully help them 'trade' through 2020 Quarter 2.  However, when things start to return to 'normal', all of these businesses need customers in Quarter 3, Quarter 4 and into 2021 to survive in the longer term and therefore it makes perfect sense for the Government to ensure that as many customers as possible are still able to pay for goods and services in the latter half of the year.  As a society, we want to limit the likelihood of mass bankruptcies, which is the alternative that we face.

 

The Governments's furlough scheme is expensive, paying up to 80% of an employees wage, while they stay at home.  However, it has two purposes.  Firstly, it cuts an employers costs, which should help see them through the current Quarter, but as importantly, it ensures that millions of employees have a job to go back to and removes the need for them to worry too much about what they can afford to buy in the second half of the year.  There are thousands of businesses that are going to be reliant on their custom, including many model shops and model railway suppliers.  However, business to consumer transactions are only part of the economy and it's important not to forget about the importance of business to business transactions like the ones that you have highlighted above.  In the description above, you've indicated that three quarters of the grant will be going straight to eight local businesses, which will hopefully help to ensure their survival.

Edited by Dungrange
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15 hours ago, Geoff Endacott said:

 

Is it morally correct to spend your spare time building model railways when you could be volunteering at your local hospital?

 

Geoff Endacott

 

Strawman!
 

Also, a totally unfair topic to introduce, given the myriad ways that people can be helping others at the moment, or might still be working, or might actually be unable/unwilling to leave home. It's not a game of "my way of getting through the crisis is better than yours", regardless of being irked that someone might still question your decision-making after you thought you'd explained yourself.
 

David

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I look at it this way, Geoff Endacott has claimed a grant that his organisation is eligible for, I'd wager the whole amount that the local golf club will also apply.

 

If GE did not claim the money would be unused, that's the way Government budget allocations work.

 

jh

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Post deleted after reading thread fully,

can't be bothered to get involved,

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I'm disappointed with some of the unnecessarily negative - and largely subjective - responses to the OP.

 

I am a trustee of a registered charity (a transport museum) which has also benefited from these funds. We make a valuable contribution to local tourism (a substantial six-figure sum p.a.) and would ordinarily have been open over two weeks ago. While we do not charge for entry, visitors tend to spend money on refreshments and items from our shop. Over a normal season, that amount will be higher than the grant we have received, especially when income from our two major running weekends is taken into account.

 

We are not a wealthy organisation and the grant will go some way to offsetting our annual costs. We own our building and its maintenance requirements don't cease because of lockdown. 

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Yes I'm sorry I don't think this grant is meant to protect Model Railway , Golf  or any other type of club that is primarily there as an entertainment . This should be for critical businesses not for hobbies .  There is only so much money to go around , the state can't and shouldn't subsidise everything  it needs to be focussed . Someone's lost their way here.

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4 hours ago, Trevellan said:

I'm disappointed with some of the unnecessarily negative - and largely subjective - responses to the OP.

 

I am a trustee of a registered charity (a transport museum) which has also benefited from these funds. We make a valuable contribution to local tourism (a substantial six-figure sum p.a.) and would ordinarily have been open over two weeks ago. While we do not charge for entry, visitors tend to spend money on refreshments and items from our shop. Over a normal season, that amount will be higher than the grant we have received, especially when income from our two major running weekends is taken into account.

 

We are not a wealthy organisation and the grant will go some way to offsetting our annual costs. We own our building and its maintenance requirements don't cease because of lockdown. 

I think there is a subtle difference between a museum, preserving the past for others to see, and a model railway club, which exists mainly for the benefit of its members, and which while running exhibitions for the benefit of the public, are doing so primarily to exhibit their own skills.

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