Micro Enterprises

 

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Micro-Enterprises are small organisations that are run by 1-8 people who deliver local services to individuals in the community

  • they provide personal, flexible and responsive support and care
  • they give local people more choice and control over the support they receive
  • they offer an alternative to more traditional services

Micro-Enterprises are a mix of voluntary and chargeable services including support services, lunch clubs, leisure activities, accompanied visits to medical appointments, sensory clubs, befriending, gardeners and handymen.

Why choose a Micro-Enterprise?

  • They offer a wide range of services often with flexible and personalised support
  • They are run by local people for local people on a very small scale
  • The can offer support at times and ways that suit you
  • They are committed to supporting people to live the lives they want
  • They are competitively priced
  • They will have a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check where appropriate
  • They have Public Liability Insurance
  • They have other insurance where required
  • HMRC registration (if they charge for services)
  • Will conform to any regulations applicable for the service they offer

All service providers will be happy to provide their documentation on request and prospective customers are encouraged to ask for sight of these.

Many Micro-Enterprises can be found on the Thurrock Stronger Together Directory – search for what you need and location in the search button on the home page

FAQs

Q How much does a service cost?

There is no set charge; Micro-Enterprises will negotiate the cost with their customers. However Micro-Enterprises are aware of the costs charged by local agencies and will price their services competitively. If you are interested in a service, please ask the provider to provide costs before agreeing to proceed. Some services are voluntary and therefore there is no charge however you may be asked to make a donation. Specific details can be found on individual listings.

Q Can I use Direct Payment or a Personal Budget to pay for a service?

Yes – providing the service provided is legal and meets the outcomes set out in your Care and Support Plan. You should tell the Micro-Enterprise that you will pay them with a Direct Payment, at the same time ensuring that you have sufficient funds in your Direct Payment account before asking a provider to deliver a service. If the Direct Payments Support Provider (Purple) manages your Direct Payment, then you should contact them if you are intending in using a Micro-Enterprise. They understand Micro-Enterprises and can support you to use their services.

Q How do I get in touch with a service?

Search for the type of service you require or the area you live to find a Micro-Enterprise. All listings will clearly state that they are part of the Micro-Enterprise family. You can contact them directly

Q How do I know if a service is chargeable?

The Micro-Enterprise service will let you know the cost of the services. Services can be self funded or a Direct Payment or Personal Budget can be used to pay for the service (providing it meets the outcomes on your Care and Support plan)

Q Can I have a service on a regular basis?

Yes, if you would like to have a regular service, the Micro-Enterprise may be able to provide this for you. They may ask you to sign a small contact which sets out what you are asking them to provide and how much they will charge.

Q How to I pay for a service?

Micro-Enterprises are encouraged to invoice customers for the work that they do which enables both customer and Micro-Enterprise to have a record of the transaction of the work carried out. Ideally invoices should be paid via bank payment/instant payment from your bank account to the bank account of the Micro-Enterprise; they will provide you with their details.

If this is not possible, then the Micro-Enterprise will issue a receipt for any monies received. However it is not recommended that you pay them using cash. Direct Payment.

If you wish to pay by Direct Payment, then speak to your social worker/support planner/Purple who can provide advice

Q What if I am not happy with the service I receive?

Micro-Enterprises are interested in delivering the best possible services to the people the local community; indeed their business depends on it. However it’s important to note that Thurrock Council does not regulate or inspect these services in any way.

If a service is legally required to register with a national body, e.g. CQC (Care Quality Commission) then quality assessments will be carried out by them to ensure that providers are compliant with the required standards. If something goes wrong, then you should approach the provider in the first place to discuss the issue with them.

All will have Complaints policies in place which will detail the actions that they will take in the event of a dispute.

Q How can I find out further information about becoming a Micro-Enterprise?

Contact the Micro Enterprise Development Manager - communitybusiness@thurrock.gov.uk