Covid-19 business news update 29 April 2020.

29 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 FTSE 100 was up 111 points (1.9%) to 5958 yesterday, its highest point since March, with the FTSE 250 up over 2% as well as more countries were looking to slowly lift restrictions. The big news was Europes largest bank by assets, HSBC, reporting a massive fall in profits as it booked a large write down on its loan book due to expected losses from the Covid-19 pandemic. despite this, the shares ended in positive territory for the day. Oil Prices turned positive with US prices reversing a more than 20% loss earlier as reopening of global economies outweighed investors fears about dwindling crude storage capacity worldwide.

Easing of the Covid-19 shutdown?
Downing Street has brushed away suggestions that Boris Johnson will this week outline how the government plans to ease its Covid-19 social distancing measures. This followed multiple news outlets reporting in the morning that the PM was drawing up plans for the next stage of the Covid-19 lockdown and would set out the next steps by Friday.

Across Europe however steps were taken toward life after lockdown. French shops will start reopening from 11th May, while the majority of Spanish restrictions will be lifted over the next eight weeks. Spanish schools however, are to remain closed until September. Some Greek shops, plus hair salons will be opened in May, but no go yet for the country’s all-important tourism sector. The U.K. is said to be considering the 7th May for a formal review of its lockdown measures, but we won’t have the “test, trace and track” tool we need until later in the month.

Sunak mulls sector-by-sector furlough extension

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hinted that he could provide an extension to the employee furlough scheme for businesses in the sectors worst hit by the coronavirus crisis.

The job retention scheme is due to end on 30th June so companies will need to choose in the middle of next month whether to begin the statutory redundancy consultation period.

Meanwhile, the human resources body CIPD has called for more flexibility to allow businesses to take back furloughed staff part-time.

Small businesses ‘must be supported after lockdown’

An article in City AM calls for a small business-first exit strategy to help the UK economy recover after lockdown ends.

It states: “Small business owners are the bedrock of our economy, contributing around £1.5trn per annum (37%) to UK private sector turnover, and they need to be given hope that an end to this crisis is on the horizon with a clear strategy that will lead them out of the economic crisis.”

Thinktank warns on economic effects of pandemic

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has warned that the UK economy is likely to miss out on some £800bn in income over the next decade as a result of the coronavirus lockdown and subsequent job losses.

The thinktank issued a report stating: “The government’s announced measures to limit the long-term economic effect of COVID-19 have a direct cost to the exchequer of about £75bn in our main-case scenario. Borrowing is likely to rise above £200bn in 2020-21.”

NIESR deputy director, Garry Young, remarked: “There is massive uncertainty about how long and how severe this crisis will be. For our reassuring main-case forecast scenario to come true it is necessary to believe that the complex network of relationships that make up the economy can be restored after the lockdown without any significant long-term damage.”

Local Stores
All major UK Supermarkets saw rising grocery sales but convenience stores around the country are particularly thriving in the virus lockdown, research agency Kantar said on Tuesday.

Data from Kantar showed take-home UK grocery sales rising by 9.1% in the 12 weeks to April 19, with online sales now accounting for 10.2% of the grocery market. Grocery sales were £524 million higher in the past four weeks than they were in April 2019.

Two-fifths of UK retailers ceased trading entirely

The CBI’s latest distributive trades survey has found that 39% of retailers reported a total shutdown of UK activity due to the coronavirus outbreak.

April’s monthly health check of high street and online sales also revealed that activity was down for 71% of businesses, 67% said the outbreak was having a significant negative impact on their sales, while 96% said they were now experiencing cashflow problems.

IR35 expansion ‘should be re-examined in light of coronavirus’

Anita Monteith outlines recommendations from the House of Lords on rethinking IR35’s expansion and seeking a better way to tax work, in light of the changes brought by coronavirus. She quotes the first sentence of the report: “The IR35 rules – the government’s framework to tackle tax avoidance by those in ‘disguised employment’ – have never worked satisfactorily, throughout the whole of their 20-year history. We therefore conclude that this framework is flawed,” and its conclusion, calling for the development of “a short-term means of raising revenue that will not prove burdensome for businesses as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, and a long-term alternative solution to the off-payroll working rules.”

Just 13% succeed in CBILS application

Only 13% of those businesses that applied for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) have succeeded, according to the British Chambers of Commerce’s latest business impact tracker.

The BCC also found over half do not intend to apply for the loans, which offer up to £5m for companies in trouble and are 80% backed by the taxpayer, amid fears that they may not be able to repay them.

Banks fear mass fraud with “bounce back” loans

Senior bankers have warned that Rishi Sunak’s new “bounce back” lending scheme for small businesses may not begin on Monday as planned because of legal problems and the need to create new digital systems.

The scheme offers 100% government-backed loans of up to £50,000 to micro businesses.

But bankers fear the simplified application process, which also lifts obligations on lenders to carry out their own checks, risks a huge rise in fraud and makes it difficult to call in loans in future.

Banks also say the scheme will require changes to the Consumer Credit Act, particularly over its stipulation that courts can rule a relationship between lender and borrower unfair, and these changes will not be in place for Monday.

Germany and eurozone braced for record slump

Germany’s economy is set for a 6.6% slide in growth this year and the country’s Ifo economic institute warned that the economy would not return to pre-pandemic levels until the end of 2021.

Meanwhile, UBS believes the eurozone’s economy will contract by 6.1% in 2020, worse than the 4.5% seen during the financial crisis.

Standard & Poor’s has a worse forecast predicting a 7.3% slump and that both the UK and eurozone economies will remain 1.4% below pre-pandemic levels by 2023.

Separately, Fitch has cut Italy’s credit rating to “BBB-minus” just one notch above junk. Italian finance minister Roberto Gualtieri said the ratings agency had failed to take account of important decisions taken by the EU and the ECB to support eurozone economies.

Covid-19 brings fresh calls to adjust post-Brexit immigration system

The government has been called upon to revise its post-Brexit points-based immigration system in light of the coronavirus crisis, with lobbyists arguing that the pandemic has highlighted how dependent the UK economy is on foreign low-skilled labour.

Morgan Schondelmeier, head of external affairs at the Adam Smith Institute, urged the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to revise the salary threshold “to allow for such essential low-paid work as is necessary”

Marley Morris, associate director at the Institute for Public Policy Research, believes the model “needs to be a more nuanced and targeted” claiming that most of the workers helping out in the NHS, social care, retail and logistics would not be allowed under the new rules.


 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

Keep up to date with the latest news by following us on social media:-

CPA on Linkedin

CPA on facebook

CPA on twitter

See all our latest news here!

Housekeeping: Opening a New Account

Late payments are never good for business. What can you do?

Get paid earlier by understanding why late payments happen.

Protecting Your Business isn’t Half As Painful As You Think

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – recognising the types of payers you do business with!

See our blog on how to communicate with your debtor early and clearly to set the framework for prompt payments

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Debt Recovery (But Were Afraid To Ask)

Understand the “why” behind late payments

Read our blog on what to do when not paid on time

10 Bad Habits Every Credit Controller Should Give Up

The Credit Controller’s Best Friend

Debt Recovery: It’s Easier Than You Think!

How Managing Your Cash Flow Can Make You (and Your Business) A Success

Avoid insolvency – Don’t let your money go up in smoke

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

20 ways to avoid identity theft

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