Community traders ‘need light touch’
The government has been urged to ensure new community interest companies are regulated with as light a touch as possible.
The Department for Trade and Industry has launched a consultation on updated draft regulations for the companies, which sets out how they will operate. CICs, designed to free social enterprises from the bureaucracy associated with charitable status, are due to be introduced next year.
Jonathan Bland, chief executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition, said he wanted to see ‘as little regulation as possible’ while safeguarding the ‘credibility and worthiness’ of social enterprises.
Sue John, senior development officer at Community Enterprise Wales, said the DTl must strike a balance between guarding against leaving CIC status open to abuse and minimising bureaucracy:
Meanwhile, the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations and the Charity Finance Directors Group have called for an eng to red tape which causes problems for charities that raise money through trading.
They want no fixed limit on trading income. The limit should be expressed as a percentage of turnover, as recommended by the parliamentary committee scrutinising the draft charities bill. The MPs said charities should be able to trade up to 25% of their turnover, or £5,000 if greater.
Draft GIG regulations, www.dti.gov.uk/cics
Source: New Start magazine
Related story: Community Interest Companies (CICs) Draft regulations published (16.02.04)