Last chance saloon for BES punters

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The Independent Online
Some business expansion scheme sponsors and advisers have laid on special facilities over the Christmas period to take money up until the end-of-year deadline.

Johnson Fry is open for business this weekend, and from 21 December it is offering a telephone booking hotline. The facility means that potential investors who have the prospectus in front of them can book shares over the telephone. They must then immediately post the cheque. The hotline will allow people to book up until noon on 31 December.

Tracy Benjamin, director of sales and marketing, said: 'The telephone booking is an irrevocable commitment to buy the shares.' He said the sponsor would take legal action if the potential investor reneged on the telephone booking.

Hodgson Martin is opening on 28 December, a public holiday, and will take faxed applications up until five o'clock on new year's eve. Telephone applications can be taken up until the day before.

Smith & Williamson Securities will be closed on the public holidays but will take bookings by telephone or fax up until four o'clock on 31 December.

The maximum investment in a business expansion scheme is pounds 40,000. Investors get income tax relief and capital gains tax relief. Potential investors should get advice from an independent financial adviser that specialises in BES schemes.

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