Covid-19 business news update 5 May 2020.

5 May 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 pretty much flat yesterday, closing at 5753 (down 9). In Europe however who were closed on Friday, the Euro stoxx 50 closed down 3.8%as they played catch up on Fridays falls.

The tension between the US and China over the origins of Covid are continuing to give markets a negative stance. However the US S&9 500 climbed .4% and the NASDAQ climbed 1.2%

Oil Prices moved higher yesterday, reversing early losses, as optimism around a demand recovery offset fears of a spat between the United States and China over the origin of the virus.

Gold Prices rose as well as Trump threatened to impose tariffs on China over the coronavirus crisis which overshadowed optimism about various countries easing lockdown measures, thus driving investors away from riskier assets.

Covid watch

The U.K.’s potential path out of lockdown looks set to laid out Sunday, including social distancing measures for offices, while Britain will also will start rolling out a contact-tracing mobile phone app.

The software is currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight and, if trials are successful, the app will be rolled out nationwide. If enough people install it on their phones (60%), the app should help isolate new cases of Covid quickly, limiting the spread of the virus and allowing the rest of the country to start returning to normal.

Businesses looking to restart operations after the Covid-19 lockdown is relaxed are set to be told to stagger shifts, enforce social distancing with tape on floors, and avoid sharing things like pens. They will also be advised to install plastic screens between customers and the staff on the cash register,  walk-back  hot-desking schemes, and enforce strict standards of hygiene.

US Trade deal

Talks between the United Kingdom and the United States on a post-Brexit trade agreement are to set to get under way today. The early negotiations will take place by videoconference, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the first round of talks expected to last two weeks and further sessions approximately every six weeks.

Business Groups have welcomed the start of UK-US trade talks today, urging the government to concentrate on Britain’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in negotiations.

Car industry

The UK Car Industry has called for a government stimulus package and extended furlough support to help it recover from the coronavirus crisis. Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said the government will need to jump-start the sector in order to get demand going again.

New Car Registrations in the UK almost ground to a halt in April after the Covid-19 lockdown measures were introduced, the motor industry has said.

Preliminary figures from industry body the SMMT show only 4,000 cars were registered, the lowest monthly level since 1946. April’s figure marked a 97% plunge in sales from the same month last year.

Bounce Back Loan scheme sees 110k day one claims

Around 110,000 small businesses applied for a new emergency loan scheme in the hours after it launched yesterday.

With banks reporting an average loan of about £30,000, the support is calculated to have hit £3.3bn on day one.

Early figures show that Lloyds had received 17,000 Bounce Back Loan applications by midday; RBS had 22,000 by 2.30pm, and HSBC had 34,500 by 4pm. Barclays confirmed that, by mid-afternoon, it had made 6,000 approvals worth £200m.

Government pays 23% of worker wages

Figures show that the Government is paying the wages for nearly a quarter of UK jobs via a support scheme rolled out during the coronavirus crisis.

The job retention scheme, which funds 80% of workers’ wages up to £2,500 a month, has seen 6.3m claims, a figure representing 23% of the employed workforce.

HMRC says about 800,000 employers have reported furloughing workers since the programme started.

It has distributed £8bn, with the average payout at £1,269. With the scheme due to run through June, the total cost could exceed £30bn.

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, said: “The 6.3m jobs being furloughed shows in stark terms the scale of the economic shutdown that Britain is living through.”

TUC says return to work plan puts staff at risk…

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) says Government draft measures to get people back to work amid the coronavirus crisis will put staff health at risk and cannot be supported in their current form.

In a letter to Business Secretary Alok Sharma, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady criticises the non-binding guidelines for letting employers decide what is safe when it comes to distance between workers, cleaning practices and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The letter says: “At present, this guidance fails to provide clear direction to those employers who want to act responsibly and is an open goal to the worst of employers who want to return to business at usual – which will put their workforce at risk.”

Meanwhile, Mike Clancy, head of the Prospect union, has written to health secretary Matt Hancock asking for clarification of the guidance, which he says had caused “considerable confusion.”

… while businesses want legal clarity

Employers are putting increased pressure on the Government to detail what personal protective equipment employees will need to wear to return to work and also want to know if they will be liable if staff contract covid-19 at work.

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Understanding the legal implications is a key issue. Every employer wants to keep their employees safe.”

A spokesman for the Institute of Directors said: “Guidance setting out how businesses can safely operate during the coronavirus pandemic is vital to give employers and staff confidence.”

Consumer confidence crashes to all-time low

A survey by YouGov and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) shows that consumer sentiment has dropped to its lowest level since the monthly gauge of sentiment started in January 2012.

The majority of people polled expect the economy to slide into recession in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with 28% expecting a more prolonged depression.

The YouGov/CEBR index, which is based on a survey of 6,000 households in Britain, fell to 92.7 in April, down from 98.6 in March.

A score below 100 means that there are more consumers who lack confidence than those who are confident.

The poll also saw 89% of people say they expect unemployment to rise this year.

Kay Neufeld, head of macroeconomics at the CEBR, said measures to contain the spread of coronavirus “have had a marked effect” on consumer confidence.

Pandemic may prompt higher taxes

Experts believe the Chancellor will have little choice but to increase taxes in the autumn Budget.

The Daily Telegraph’s Harry Brennan says Rishi Sunak may have to U-turn on a manifesto pledge to not increase income tax, National Insurance and VAT in an bid to balance the books due to the spending rolled out to ease pressure brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

This comes with calculations suggesting Government spending will break the £1trn mark for the first time, with support measures and increased funding for health services taking public expenditure to more than half the national income.

Tax experts have also suggested that HMRC may toughen up on tackling tax evasion and avoidance, having been granted stronger powers to pull in the £30bn a year in lost duties.

George Bull of RSM points to the way the public backed social distancing rules, saying that “due to the severity of the situation”, ministers will be “betting on winning similar support, even for something as unpopular as raising taxes.”

Contracts prompt scrutiny concern

The Guardian reports that some critics have voiced concern that the Government is using the coronavirus pandemic to transfer key public health duties from the NHS and other state bodies to the private sector without proper scrutiny.

Noting that ministers have used special powers to bypass normal tendering, it highlights that Deloitte and KPMG are among those to have secured taxpayer funded commissions in recent weeks.

Final whistle for Premier League season?

The Telegraph’s Jason Burt looks at whether the Premier League season should be abandoned.

Weighing the arguments for and against resuming matches during the COVID-19 pandemic, he argues that football is “an important industry and the Premier League’s impact is global for UK plc,” citing EY analysis showing that the 20 clubs paid £3.3bn in tax during 2016/17 and employed 12,000 people directly – as well as supporting almost 100,000 full-time jobs in other companies.

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).

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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The Credit Controller’s Best Friend

Debt Recovery: It’s Easier Than You Think!

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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

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