Upgrades of major economies unlikely in 2021 – business news 9 December 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Upgrades of major economies unlikely in 2021, port problems will lead to price rises, destitution levels soared in the UK, even before the pandemic, large number of insolvencies predicted, Late Payment campaigner steps down, UK extends ban on evicting commercial tenants, recruitment falls, November grocery sales break records, more small businesses seek advice on redundancy,covid-19, market and other business news.

Here are CPA we want to share the business news stories we have seen that we think will affect our members and readers. Many of us are busy fighting to protect our businesses and therefore might have missed some of the news that could impact small businesses, their owners and those that sell on credit.

Upgrades of major economies unlikely in 2021

Despite COVID-19 vaccines beginning to roll out Fitch Ratings has told Reuters that upgrades of any major economy are unlikely in 2021. Brian Coulton, Fitch’s chief economist said countries hit hard by the coronavirus will see the maximum economic boost from an effective vaccine. Coulton also said that the start of 2021 will be weak in Europe and the United States as a result of recently tightened restrictions and that the clearest benefits in annual growth numbers will be seen in 2022.

Port problems will lead to price rises

According to a report on the BBC, a global shipping crisis and congestion charges at Felixstowe and Southampton are causing major delays at UK ports and the costs will be passed on to consumers.  The logistics industry has written to the Department for Transport calling for it to help clear port backlogs.

Destitution levels soared in the UK, even before the pandemic

The number of people experiencing destitution increased by more than 50% to 2.4m between 2017 and 2019, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which is calling for the Government to make permanent and extend a £20 uplift to the basic rate of benefits, along with other reforms to make the welfare system more generous.

Large number of insolvencies predicted as furlough ends

Begbies Traynor chairman Ric Traynor has cautioned that the end of government furlough schemes will result in a wave of insolvencies among UK businesses. He remarked: “There are plenty of companies that are just avoiding insolvency to claim furlough money to protect staff. Once furlough ends they will have to go down the insolvency root.” The firm expects a boom in business advising such distressed companies.

Late Payment campaigner steps down

After a period spanning more than 30 years, Rudi Klein is stepping down from his role as CEO of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group.   Professor Klein lead campaigns against payment abuse which have held the construction industry back and and remains a major barrier to achieving a more efficient and productive UK construction industry. He is the Uk authority on Project Bank Accounts, as a means of protecting small sub contractors from insolvencies and has called for a reform of the retention scheme

Debbie Abrahams MP said: “Rudi has been a tireless advocate to tackle poor payment practices and late payments for decades.  His expertise and knowledge on late payments and Project Bank Accounts has been invaluable and he has helped effect real change in pressing the Government to improve payment practices, particularly for small businesses. I look forward to working with Rudi, in his advisory capacity, as the campaign to tackle late payments, once and for all, continues.”

UK extends ban on evicting commercial tenants

The UK is to extend a ban on commercial landlords evicting tenants until March 31 next year, Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, said. However, those businesses that are able to pay their rent should do so.

More small businesses seek advice on redundancy

Mentor, the HR and Health and Safety advice service run by NatWest, reveals that an increasing number of small businesses seeking advice on redundancy, furlough and absence, in the wake of lockdowns. Mentor said 49% of calls were related to redundancies.

Fewer permanent staff recruited during November

A monthly survey by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation found that the number of permanent staff recruited fell for a second month in a row in November and dropped by its most since July. “A lot of demand for permanent staff (is) displaced to January as firms hope the COVID crisis is easing. For now though, temporary work continues to help businesses operate and people find jobs,” REC chief executive Neil Carberry said.

November grocery sales break records

The latest retail figures from Kantar show that November was the biggest month ever for the grocery market, with £10.9bn spent in store and online. The firm said that take-home grocery sales rose 11% during the 12 weeks to November 29, which was the fastest rate of growth since August. Meanwhile, Kantar said anxiety over Brexit was growing. Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight, said: “The supermarkets and their suppliers are extremely concerned about the Brexit deal. In many ways, the supermarkets business is a logistics business and any friction at the border or any additional costs at the border will inevitably cause disruption.”

Chancellor urged to be more upbeat on economy

Julian Jessop at the Institute of Economic Affairs has urged Rishi Sunak to be more optimistic about the economic outlook, arguing that the rollout of vaccines should help the economy get back on its feet, improving the public finances through growth in 2021 and removing the need for austerity or tax hikes.

Small businesses increase use of open banking

Research from the Competition and Markets Authority has found that 50% of small business are now using open banking providers. The CMA’s Small Business Financial Landscape study, which surveyed 500 businesses with fewer than 50 employees, found almost three in five started to use these services in the past six months, with 90% saying that their interest in open banking was a direct result of the pandemic. The research also found 24% of small businesses now use cloud accounting while 21% are using cashflow forecasting tools. Constanza Castro Feijoo, small business engagement spokesperson for the Open Banking Implementation Entity, commented: “It is encouraging to see the UK’s small business community recognising that open banking can help to become more resilient, productive and profitable.”

SMEs to benefit from new grant scheme

An SME fund providing grants to businesses struggling due to the pandemic has been announced by fintech lender Market Finance. Chief executive Anil Stocker commented: “These grants represent a small boost that will help the successful businesses pivot, scale or grow in 2021. It’s been a difficult year for most, but we can’t forget that a lot of businesses were good, strong and viable in 2019.” He went on: “In addition to the grant, we will offer the time and skills of our expert staff to help their leadership teams. Whether they need tech, marketing, finance or communications support, we will provide the resources to help them get to where they want to go.”

Covid-19 general news

New cases in the Uk fell to 12,281 yesterday.  Official death figures are at 62,033 but covid-19 has been mentioned on over 75 thousand death certificates.

With 634,120 global cases yesterday, numbers broke through 68 million, Deaths reached 1,558,454.

The UK  administered the first approved doses of a covid-19 vaccine, produced by Pfizer and BioNTech. A further 800,000 doses will be dispensed in the coming weeks.

Oxford University and AstraZeneca became the first Covid-19 vaccine makers to publish final-stage clinical trial results in a scientific journal this afternoon, clearing a key hurdle in the global race to produce safe and effective drugs for covid-19. The peer reviewed study, published in the respected Lancet medical journal, confirmed that the vaccine works in an average of 70% of cases.

Cases were low in schools that reopened in England after the first nationwide lockdown, suggesting there was little risk of spreading the disease, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal. The research covered nurseries and schools that reopened after implementing measures such as smaller classes and the formation of social bubbles. The virus was most often spread among staff, while student-to-student transmission was rare.

Figures justifying second lockdown dramatically downgraded

Data used by the Government to justify the second lockdown has been quietly revised down, the Telegraph reports. Dr Daniel Howdon, a health economist at the University of Leeds, also noticed that ONS has been consistently revising down past data with each weekly publication. Many experts have complained that the data presented by the Government ahead of the lockdown was “riddled with errors” and exaggerated the need for a second lockdown, while Greg Clark, the chairman of the Commons science and technology committee, said the belated admission of errors was “of great concern”.


The export driven FTSE 100 was flat yesterday, supported by a weakening pound while the more domestic facing 250 dropped 0.3% as growing fears of a no-deal Brexit dominated over the fact that Britain became the first Western country to start mass-vaccinations to prevent covid infections.

With less than a month before Britain ends its transition deal with the EU, leaders are to meet face-to-face to try to seal a post-Brexit trade deal to govern our relationship with our biggest trading partner after both sides failed again to narrow their differences. The UK and EU have however reached agreement on how rules in the Brexit divorce deal relating to Northern Ireland’s borders will work in practice. The  Government will ditch parts of the the new proposed bill that would have seen the UK break international law, after reaching an “agreement in principle” on Brexit divorce issues. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said he was “delighted” to have reached a compromise with European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovicon on post-Brexit arrangements for the Irish border.

Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen will hold crisis talks over dinner this evening in an effort to salvage a post-Brexit trade deal, as the general mood turns increasingly pessimistic.

The NASDAQ hit another record high overnight rising another 0.5% while the S&P500 climbed 0.28% on positive vaccine news and signs a stimulus deal might be agreed.

Brent crude is up to $49.4 and gold is at $1860. The pound has strengthened on the NI border news up to 1.1109 Euros and 1.345 US dollars.

The United Kingdom is set to suspend its share of EU tariffs against the US over subsidies, in an attempt to broker a post-Brexit trade deal. There has been a long battle between the US and the EU relating to state subsidies for aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing.

Government fails basic test on post-Brexit Britain

Sir John Redwood has expressed dismay at the Government during a debate in the Commons on The Taxation Bill for post-Brexit Britain. Sir John said he expected to hear how taxation would be transformed and how VAT was going to change to help business and consumers as the economy struggles out from under the shadow of the pandemic. “Instead we have six resolutions that are mainly about trying to make sure that they can get even more VAT out of people after we’ve left than before and they could have done that at any time.” Sir John continued: “Where is the vision, minister, that we are going to have a much better tax system after Brexit?”

One-off 5% wealth tax would raise £262bn

A commission set up in April to establish whether a wealth tax could work in Britain has said a one-off tax of 5% on assets above £500,000, including pensions but excluding mortgage debt, would raise more than £260bn. About 8m UK residents would be liable to pay and the proposals suggest individuals would be allowed to pay in five equal installments over five years, based on the market value of their assets at a specific date. The Wealth Tax Commission is led by Arun Advani, an assistant professor at Warwick University, Andy Summers, an associate professor of law at the London School of Economics, and Emma Chamberlain, a barrister at Pump Court Tax Chambers. They drew on the advice of 50 international experts. Lord O’Donnell, a former Cabinet Secretary, said in the report’s introduction: “It is broadly accepted that if the prime minister is to stand by his promise not to return to austerity then taxes will eventually have to rise. This will mean breaking another manifesto commitment. Or it means thinking seriously about new taxes.”

Kate Andrews: Wealth tax has dangerous implications for freedom

Writing in the Telegraph, Kate Andrews considers wealth taxes and the proposals in France and the US that have resulted in a backlash from citizens. Emmanuel Macron had to rapidly backtrack after thousands of people fled the country – the same is happening in California. Aside from implementation difficulties, wealth taxes are morally wrong, says Andrews: “Taxing wealth is a fundamental break in the social contract between taxpayers and government: people pay their taxes to help fund services on the understanding that their income and property ultimately belong to them, not the state. A wealth tax turns that on its head: it all belongs to the state, which can call it in whenever it sees fit. It has dangerous implications, not just for our economy, but for what it means to be an individual in a free society.” She goes on to argue that the “tax system may be overdue for an overhaul, with a focus on efficiency and fairness – but on both of those counts a wealth tax should be wiped from the list. It’s a non-starter for anyone who wants to get this country moving again.”

Don’t let Covid-19 bust your business!

It will if your cash flow dries up, either sooner or later.

The Credit Protection Association (CPA) has been assisting thousands of UK businesses to get paid since 1914. We have seen many financial crises, this one will be particularly deadly for suppliers for sometime to come.

CPA eases cash from tardy debtors – Efficiently, Effectively, Economically and Ethically. Above all tactfully, because maintenance of goodwill is paramount.

To meet the needs of creditors in the current crisis, we have designed a “critical care” package especially tailored for the situation.

  • The annual package costs start at very low rates
  • A minimum performance warranty is provided
  • Several complimentary services included

Clients instruct CPA on-line via their PC or phone, completely user-friendly. Your late paying customers are told to pay you direct (not to us).

A very recent report shows a 23% increase in the number of unpaid invoices since March 11th THIS YEAR – are you getting a build-up of late payers?

Right now, overdue accounts must be a concern and CPA has a great track record of encouraging slow-payers to pay their suppliers quickly.

It takes less than 17 minutes to see how you would benefit, do you have the time now?

No face-to-face meeting required – just call Peter Uwins, CPA’s National Sales Manager, on 020 8846 0000 (business hours) or email nsm@cpa.co.uk today.

When you see your money come in, you will be so glad you used CPA.

Do you sell on credit?

With pressures on the cash flow it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant customers and watch carefully for any late payments.

Those customers will look for the easiest option to boost their cash-flow. Don’t let it be you.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you eventually, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When your customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

You might be hesitant about contacting a debt collection agency. What are they going to be like?

Can they help your particular type of business?

There is no need for concern. CPA are courteous, helpful and very probably have had direct experience of working with your type of business.

Debt collection agencies are not all alike.

Success lies in both recovering money and keeping customers happy. The Credit Protection Association was founded in 1914 and has helped tens of thousands of UK businesses to collect outstanding payments and reduce the risk of incurring bad debt. We believe that creditors deserve to be paid for the work or goods they have supplied but we fully understand the need to maintain
the best possible relationship with customers!

At The Credit Protection Association, we provide solutions, advice and back-up in all areas relating to the supply of services or goods on account. Client-members receive everything they need from a single source to reduce debtor days and write-offs.

The Credit Protection Association has helped has assisted tens of thousands of UK businesses with their credit control requirements, since the First World War.

We are polite, firm and efficient when it comes to recovering outstanding debt.

“We have used CPA for a number of years now. The website is easy to navigate around with lots of helpful reports. The staff are always at hand and very friendly. CPA has helped us reduce our debt over the years and keep track of potential issues with our customers.”
~ CPA client in Buckinghamshire

“The service from CPA has proved to be everything that you said it would be. We have already seen a huge benefit. We have had a number of overdue accounts paid promptly and directly to us. It is also a huge weight off our mind to know that once we have passed an overdue payment over to you, you take care of everything whilst keeping us informed.
~ Credit Controller client in Warrington

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections


Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are extremely passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs, with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

You put up with the PAIN – now claim the GAIN!

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Did you know that your business is entitled to a minimum of £40 for every commercial invoice paid late to you over the past 6 years?

How many of your invoices are paid late each month – 20, 50, 100 or more?

At £40 per invoice that’s claim of £57,600, £144,000, £288,000 plus interest. The more invoices the bigger the claim! 

At £100 per invoice it’s £144,000, £360,000, £720,000 plus interest.

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!

For over 20 years, CPA has calculated and recovered Late Payment Compensation on behalf of Clients!  

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

The “Why” of the late payment culture.

New PM should walk the walk and back small firms over late payments

Paying late is “crack cocaine” to big business.

Late payment culture risks “spiraling out of control”

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you fancy an extra bit of extra cash in your business, rather than jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could provide the cash boost your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit. You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping business owners who are looking to boost the returns from their business before they retire. We are helping businesses who have lost major clients after years of loyal service to get properly compensated for systematic late payment. We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Those former clients who regularly paid you late can finally be made to pay.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.

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The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.