Covid-19 business news update 24 April 2020.

24 April 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

During the Covid-19 outbreak we will continue to share (as we can) the business news stories we have seen that we think will affect our members and readers. The news stories you might have missed that might have an impact on SMEs and those that sell on credit. The daily UK Coronavirus death toll has dropped to 616, according to latest figures. This marks a decrease from the 759 deaths reported yesterday, and take the total to 18,738.


London stocks rallied yesterday afternoon as oil rebounded and US stocks provided encouragement. The FTSE 100 closed up 56 points at 5826. The move in the US came despite a further 4.4 million unemployed being announced bringing total unemployment since the shutdown in the US to 26 million. Oil rose as tensions were sparked in the middle east and producing nations cut output further

Hospitality jobs

More than 1m UK Hospitality Jobs could be lost if coronavirus social distancing measures are extended without extra government support for the sector, the industry has warned. UK Hospitality has written to Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove to urge for more support for the country’s pubs, bars and restaurants amid concerns that social distancing measures could be in place for the rest of the year.

Business activity collapses amid lockdown

Business activity has collapsed at its fastest rate on record, according to fresh data from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute for Procurement and Supply, a rate “previously thought unimaginable” amid the widespread shutdowns in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The composite reading fell from 36 last month to 12.9 for April, with services taking a particularly big hit, prompting Gertjan Vlieghe, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, to warn that the UK economy is experiencing the fastest and deepest contraction in “the past century or possibly several centuries.”

However, Mr Vlieghe said the central bank was in control of monetary policy and could take steps to control inflation, adding that the priority “is to return the economy to that pre-virus trajectory as soon as possible”.

Emergency lending to small firms doubles

Figures from UK Finance show lending to small businesses has almost doubled on a week ago with banks now committing £2.8bn in emergency government-backed loans to British firms.

Royal Bank of Scotland has approved £1.2bn, Lloyds has lent £335m, Barclays £586m and HSBC £480.5m. UK Finance said banks had so far approved 46% of 36,000 applications.

However, businesses are still reporting difficulties in accessing loans with the British Chambers of Commerce calling for the process to be simplified ahead of a “crunch week”. Mike Cherry, of the Federation of Small Businesses, welcomed the improvement but said more disclosure was needed on why businesses were being turned down by banks

Sunak bends to pressure for 100% guarantees on small business loans

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is on the verge of agreeing to provide 100% guarantees on loans of up to £25,000 to Britain’s smallest businesses, with a scheme possibly up and running next week. The change in stance comes after intense lobbying by Tory MPs, the CBI and the Bank of England.

UK Treasury to quadruple borrowing to £180bn over next quarter

The UK government is seeking to raise £180bn over the next three months, to allow it to meet its spending needs as tax revenues plunge amid a severe economic contraction.

CBI: Give every business a three-month rates holiday

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is calling on the government to give all companies a three-month business rates holiday – extending rates relief beyond the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.

Grants administered by councils should also be made available to more small businesses and larger ones outside the crisis-hit sectors, the lobby group added.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, said: “This is a race against time, and the only winning strategy is scale, speed and simplicity.”

Retail landlords banned from aggressive rent collection

The UK government has temporarily banned landlords from using winding-up orders and aggressive debt recovery tactics against retailers and restaurateurs while the COVID-19 crisis continues.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “In this exceptional time for the UK, it is vital that we ensure businesses are kept afloat so that they can continue to provide the jobs our economy needs beyond the coronavirus pandemic.”

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium said: “We thank Alok Sharma for his swift action, which will give retailers some vital relief and help safeguard millions of jobs all across the country.”

Higher earners losing out under £2,500 monthly furlough cap

Higher earners placed on furlough are seeing a significant drop in their take-home pay, according to an analysis by Blick Rothenburg. A person earning £60,000 per year, the cut-off for receiving child benefit, will be £1,517 out of pocket during furlough, and a person with a salary of £100,000 would lose out on £3,550 per month, rising to £4,350 for someone bringing in £120,000 a year.

A spokesman for the Chartered Management Institute, which has been offering advice on furlough to managers and employees, has said managers should do everything they can to ensure that furloughed staff are supported. “Changes in personal circumstances can affect individuals’ wellbeing and managers must be sympathetic and ‘manage with a human face’ as staff adapt to their new normal – whether that be a change in income or being furloughed”, he said.

Pension rules to be suspended for public sector workers coming back to fight coronavirus

Economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen has said that rules applying a tax charge to pension income for recently retired workers aged between 50 and 55 are to be relaxed for all public sector pensioners returning to work to assist in the coronavirus emergency.

The move builds on an earlier ruling nullifying the charge for nurses and doctors. Retirees who receive a pension but return to work and earned a salary on top can be pushed into higher income tax bands. This usually triggers an “abatement”, which is a pound for pound reduction in the pension if their new earnings exceed their pre-retirement NHS salary.

Eurozone activity slumps to record low

The eurozone has suffered the steepest fall in business activity and employment ever recorded due to measures introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to data from IHS Markit.

The EU’s economy is on course to shrink by 7.5% this quarter with Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, describing the slump as “ferocious” and surpassing “that thought imaginable by most economists.”

Laurent Millet, manager of the Artemis European equities fund, commented: “We are increasingly worried about the absence of a euro-wide fiscal response to coronavirus. Without strong solidarity between European governments, the risk of a financing crisis is real.”

Could a one-off tax on wealth solve Britain’s economic woes?

Writing in the Times, Ed Conway wonders whether a one-off wealth tax levied on everyone in the country could be the solution to paying off the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although politically undesirable, a 10% levy on all household net wealth would generate over a trillion pounds of revenues, Conway claims, with the bulk of the tax “paid by those who have benefited most from the increase in asset prices over the past few decades”.


 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).

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

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.

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

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

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 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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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.

25 excuses for late payment and how to get around them.

Read our Cash Flow Advice

Read about our overdue account recovery service

Read our blog – What is credit management?

Read our blog – How to select a debt collection agency

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see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

Overcoming 5 common reasons for disputed invoices

As insolvencies rise, could you spot these warning signs in your customers?

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