Covid-19 business news update 30 April 2020.

30 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.

Shares rose around the world yesterday on a combination of optimism over loosening of lockdown restrictions, expanding central Government stimulus packages and strong earnings from Google-parent Alphabet and fellow tech giants Microsoft & facebook. Apple and Amazon report today.

Markets got a further boost later on in the day when positive initial trail results surfaced from drugmaker Gilead’s experimental drug remdesivir which is being tested on COVID-19 patients.
The FTSE 100 broke back above 6000 finishing 156 points higher at 6115. The FTSE 250 did even better, climbing almost 3.5%. In the US, the S&P 500 climbed 2.66% and the Nasdaq 3.57%.

That was despite the US Economy reporting shrinking at its fastest rate since the financial crisis in the first three months of the year as the covid-19 crisis shutdown the economy in March.

Analysts warned worse is yet to come when a full quarter is factored in in Q2. US GDP shrank at an annualised rate of 4.8% in the first 3 months (January to March). The figure was worse than the 4% economists had expected. Before the pandemic, GDP had been expected to grow by about 2% this year.

The eurozone economy also reported today that it contracted 3.8% in the first quarter, on par with estimates.

Oil Prices rose this morning, extending steep gains yesterday on signs the U.S. crude glut is not growing as quickly as expected and that oil demand battered by Covid-19 restrictions is starting to pick back up.


The American pharma company Gilead Sciences, reported positive results from an important clinical trial of its experimental antiviral drug, remdesivir. Preliminary results from an American government trial showed that patients given the drug had a 31% faster recovery time than those who received the placebo.

Anthony Fauci, America’s senior infectious diseases expert, said the finding were “really quite important”and were “quite good news”. However, a separate, peer-reviewed study published in the Lancet, conversely found the drug had no positive effect.

Factory output falls to lowest level since records began

Manufacturing output fell 57.7% in April, the lowest level since records began in 1980, while sentiment index for services fell to minus 58.8 in April, from minus 9.3 in March.

Not eating out

Restaurant Industry Bosses are set to urge the government not to end the UK covid-19 lockdown too soon, warning the move would cause permanent closures. Celebrity chefs Rick Stein and Tom Kerridge are among the restaurateurs to sign a letter to business secretary Alok Sharma and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.

Testing times

Matt Hancock, Britain’s health secretary, will today find out whether the government has hit a self-imposed target to conduct 100,000 tests per day for the coronavirus. Not many expect the target to have been met.On the 28th April just 52,549 tests were carried out and the capacity of out labs currently is at 73 thousand.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a cabinet meeting later today and then lead the daily covid-19 briefing for the first time since his return to work. No 10 said the PM, whose fiancee gave birth on Wednesday, will update the UK on the “fight against this disease and the steps we are taking to defeat it”.

Firms face ‘new normal’ post-lockdown

Matt Kilcoyne, deputy director of the Adam Smith Institute, looks at the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and warns that companies will have to “learn to adjust to a new normal”.

Looking to the future, he says more cash will need to be brought into the UK, arguing that abolishing the factory tax – the inability to immediately write-off capital investments – will “get factories back up”, while reducing capital gains tax could “make it worthwhile to bring cash onshore.” He adds that slashing employers’ National Insurance contributions could ensure jobs are retained.

Temporary tax cuts ‘could boost economic recovery’

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, writes in City AM on the case for “temporary, well-targeted tax cuts to support the recovery in the months after the lockdown starts to be eased.”

He suggests that a short-term VAT reduction, such as Alastair Darling introduced after the global financial crisis in 2009, “might be one such option to consider for later this year” and concludes that policymakers “will need to be careful not to undermine incentives for wealth creation and drive foreign investors away from the UK.”

Poll: Furlough scheme ‘should be extended’

A survey by the CIPD has revealed that some 60% of employers believe extending the Government furlough scheme to September was the most important policy change to the labour market that would best help them through the coronavirus crisis.

The CIPD also suggested that changes to the programme to allow short-time working would “enable hundreds of thousands of furloughed staff to work in some capacity, helping to protect jobs, support businesses and reduce the burden on public finances.”

The organisation’s chief executive Peter Cheese remarked: “The Government has worked hard to get the job retention scheme up and running so quickly. However, urgent decisions must now be taken to make it more flexible and to extend it so employers can continue to protect jobs.”

Meanwhile Evening Standard business editor Jim Armitage advises the government to “taper the end of furloughing rather than chop it off on an arbitrary date”, adding: “Let’s make it easier for CEOs to get their companies back to work.”

Grant scheme could boost small firms

Treasury tax and welfare chief Beth Russell has suggested small business owners unable to access the Government’s coronavirus support measures could benefit from a new scheme, with the Treasury “looking at proposals” to offer emergency grants to small business owners who pay themselves via dividends.

She said the possible initiative would be different from schemes already in place and “would take far longer to set up”. Analysis suggests around 800,000 directors of limited companies are ineligible for emergency support for the self-employed that has been rolled out by the Chancellor.

Small businesses in shared offices lose out on grants

Research by Colliers International suggests that more than 10,000 small businesses based in shared offices are missing out on COVID-19 support grants as eligibility is based on a premise’s rateable value.

COVID-19 and the toll on tourism

Tom Rees looks at how the tourism sector could be effected by the coronavirus outbreak, saying UK hotspots could see more domestic visitors as Britons scale back plans to travel abroad.

KPMG chief economist Yael Selfin comments: “If the vaccine is going to take 12 to 18 months, we may not actually go back to normal until August next year so that would wipe out two years for the tourism industry.”

Pandemic to hit airlines

The Times considers the impact COVID-19 could have on air travel, noting that social distancing measures calling for two metre gaps between people would require airlines to leave up to 80% of seats empty.

Paul Zalkin at Quantuma comments: “Budget airlines operate at a break-even load factor well in excess of 80%, so taking out all middle seats will not work, unless all the window and aisle seat passengers subsidise the empty middle seats. That would mean much higher ticket prices. ”

Building firm collapses

Glasgow-based construction company Central Building Contractors has fallen into administration, making about 150 staff redundant. Blair Nimmo and Geoffrey Jacobs of KPMG were appointed joint administrators.

M&A nears 35 year low

Research from Refinitiv shows that UK M&A activity has fallen to its lowest monthly level in almost 35 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deal value totalled £409.1m in April – its lowest since September 1985. April’s figures mark a 99% decline on March and a 92% fall compared to April 2019.

Transaction volume was down 84% month-on-month and 87% year-on-year. Deals involving a European target totalled £4.9bn during April, with this a dip of 91% on March and the lowest monthly total since August 1992.

Globally, M&A is down 72% on March, with the £55.7bn of deals announced during April the lowest monthly total since September 2002.

Cornelia Andersson, head of M&A and capital raising at Refinitiv, said: “It’s been an April bereft of showers for the rainmakers as coronavirus continues to take its toll on global markets – with the UK being hit severely.”

London retail rents set to drop

A study by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggests a decline in demand will see London retail rents fall this year.

Analysis shows that occupier demand for retail fell to a net balance of minus 75% in Q1, while office space demand declined to minus 18%. Secondary retail rents in the capital are expected to fall around 13.4% over the next 12 months, while prime retail rents are forecast to drop 9%.

Meanwhile, occupier demand for industrial space increased 11% in the first quarter, with prime rents in the sector expected to rise 2.1% over the next year


 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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See all our latest news here!

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

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The Credit Controller’s Best Friend

Debt Recovery: It’s Easier Than You Think!

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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