Covid-19 lock-down business news update 12 May 2020.

12 May 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

The Covid-19 lock-down continues and we are having to make do in a new normal.

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.

Covid-19 general news
The main focus of yesterday afternoon was the release a 50-page document from the UK Government, detailing plans to end the covid-19 lockdown and restart the economy.

The message moved from “Stay at Home” to “Stay Alert”

The plan stated that some retailers could be allowed to open as soon as 1 June.

Some pubs, restaurants and cinemas could open as early as 4 July as a part of a “coronavirus recovery strategy”. The government’s document details plans to ease the covid-19 lockdown and restart the UK economy.

The PM watered down the tone for rebooting the U.K. economy after employers and labor unions said many workplaces aren’t ready for the restart he called for Sunday night. Britons “should now think about going back to work providing your workplace is Covid-19-secure and providing you can travel to work safely,” Boris said in his televised press conference. He said employers can’t force staff to return to unsafe environments.

Businesses have been told to carry out virus risk assessment, and clean often. They are to avoid hot desking and keep office windows open.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said yesterday businesses should first carry out risk assessments, warning them they have a “legal responsibility” to protect workers from threats to their health.

Companies with more than 50 employees are expected to publish their reports.

“The guidance signals big changes for the way that many businesses operate,” said Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce. “Some firms will now need time to plan and speak to their employees so that they can return to work safely.”

Employers are advised to stagger arrival and departure times, and provide extra parking. They will need to limit the number of people in elevators, minimize contact between staff, and provide hand sanitizer at entrances and in meeting rooms.

Hot desking and face-to-face meetings will be discouraged. Co-workers may have to face away from each other or sit side-by-side instead of face-to-face. Windows should be opened to encourage ventilation. Where it is impossible to move workstations further apart, firms should install screens to separate people from one another.

Retailers will need to limit the number of customers in stores so that 2-meter  social distancing can be maintained. The government says customers should shop alone where possible.

Employers should also provide packaged meals or similar to avoid opening staff canteens, and they should consider using social distancing marking in common areas such as toilets and changing rooms, where queues typically form.

Restaurants should operate as takeaway only, with bar and seated areas closed. Interaction between kitchen staff and other employees should also be restricted.

Builders will have to use consistent pairs of workers for two-people jobs like lifting heavy objects. Shared equipment like forklifts or pallet trucks will need to be cleaned regularly.

The government also said tradespeople shouldn’t carry out work in a household which is isolating because one or more family members has symptoms of covid-19, or where someone has been advised to shield. They should also call ahead and discuss how risk can be reduced, and ask that households leave all internal doors open to minimize contact with door handles.

Employers were advised to use protective equipment only if they would normally do so, or in clinical settings. “If your risk assessment does show that PPE is required, then you must provide this PPE free of charge to workers who need it,” one of the papers said. “Any PPE provided must fit properly.”

Sharing vehicles with colleagues should be avoided if possible. Drivers should also open the windows to ensure good ventilation.


Chancellor Rishi Sunak is to reveal the future of the government’s job retention scheme later, amid growing calls to extend it. Currently more than six million people are having up to 80% of their wages paid by the government while they are temporarily on leave from their jobs. Mr Sunak has previously warned the scheme, due to end in June, was not “sustainable” at its current rate.

He is today expected to confirm that the furlough programme will be extended beyond its current July cut-off date until September.

However, support will be reduced from 80% of wages to 60% and the £2,500 cap could be reduced.

The Chancellor is under pressure to extend until the end of September and also subsidise workers moving to part-time.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development estimates more than 4m workers would have lost their jobs if not for government support.

But Yael Selfin at KPMG says 1.2m could lose their jobs anyway as businesses close or contract as a result of the covid-19-driven recession.

Elsewhere, John Philpott, a labour market expert at the Jobs Economist consultancy, estimates that up to 20% of furloughed staff could be axed.

TheCityUK says British firms could be holding billions in unsustainable debt
Analysis from TheCityUK reveals that British firms could hold as much as £105 billion in unsustainable debt by March next year.

The financial services industry body has set up a recapitalisation group to agree on a collective response to the covid-19 pandemic from industry and government.

The estimate was based on SMEs of the size that qualify for the covid-19 business interruption loan scheme.

It excluded the smallest businesses as well as large listed companies.

Chief executive Miles Celic remarked: “Our industry is determined to play its part in getting the country back on its feet. Working at a pace and with real determination, firms across the industry are collaborating to identify a financially viable pathway to recovery and a return to long-term growth for UK businesses.”

Output slumped by largest margin on record in April

Business output fell by 35.87 points in March to give a reading of 44.9 for April, according to BDO’s Output Index. Anything below 95 indicates contraction. At the height of the financial crisis the index measured 79.28.

Another month of poor trading will see 250,000 businesses fold

A survey by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and Opinium suggests that 250,000 firms will fail this month if trading does not improve. Should the UK suffer a second wave of infections and a subsequent lockdown 1.1m businesses could fold.


The FTSE100 started higher yesterday after PM’s Sunday evening broadcast gave sentiment a boost, but gave up early gains as investors remained cautious over a second wave of virus cases, and as tourism stocks weighed on the  index. Eventually, the index closed 3 points higher at 5,939.

Travel & tourism shares took the brunt, on the news the government plans to quarantine arrivals to the UK for a 14-day period. British Airways owner IAG was lower on the day, as were budget airline EasyJet.

Directors could be given longer to meet deadlines

Sky News reports that directors could be given longer to meet Companies House deadlines under emergency insolvency reforms.

The news agency claims to have obtained a summary of the eight measures to be included in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill, which is due to begin its emergency passage through parliament in the coming days.

The majority of them are focused on giving company bosses additional breathing space “to maximise their chances of survival, protect jobs and support the country’s economic recovery”, according to a document circulated by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Sky says that among the measures aimed at boosting companies’ survival hopes, some of which were outlined last month, is a moratorium preventing legal action being taken against them without the permission of a court.

It is understood that the bill will also prevent suppliers to a stricken company terminating their agreements unless it causes hardship to their own business, and includes a so-called ‘cram down’ requirement on dissenting creditors that forces them to accept a restructuring plan.

A further two measures in the bill will remove the threat of winding-up petitions against companies with unpaid debts as a result of the pandemic, while statutory demands issued against companies will be temporarily voided once the legislation is enacted.

Give home workers a break

Blick Rothenberg partner Nimesh Shah has suggested that people who work from home should get tax breaks to cover the extra expenses incurred by not going into the office. He suggested that HMRC should increase the tax-free allowance that employers can pay their staff from £26 per month to £50.

Small firms stressed as Barclays delays payments

Hundreds of small businesses have been waiting a week for cash approved through the government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme by Barclays to come through, the Mail reports. A Barclays spokesman said: “We apologise to the small group of customers from last week whose payments were delayed and are working hard to have the money with them later today.”

P&O Ferries to axe 1,100 staff

P&O Ferries has announced plans to make 1,100 of its staff redundant as it battles to survive the covid-19 pandemic. A spokesperson for the firm said “right-sizing” the business was a necessary step to create a viable and sustainable P&O Ferries. Meanwhile, Rajeev Shaunak of MHA Macintyre Hudson, warned that UK package holiday operators could lose up to £5bn of business for this year.

Car components supplier enters administration

Arlington Automotive Group, which employs nearly 600 people at sites across the UK, has appointed Duff & Phelps to handle an insolvency process. The appointment makes it the first sizeable British car industry supplier to succumb to the COVID-19 crisis. Arlington supplies components to carmakers including Ford and Jaguar Land Rover.

Firms delaying payments into pension funds

A survey of 400 pension schemes by consultancy Isio has found that businesses are seeking to delay paying an estimated £200m per month into pension funds as they seek to stay afloat during the covid-19 pandemic. The research found that one in eight firms have asked trustees for permission to suspend deficit payments to their defined benefit schemes.

Landlords at risk from economic effects of ongoing pandemic

The Telegraph features a report on how buy-to-let landlords can best respond to the challenges posed by tax rises, changes to mortgage interest relief and falling yields, which have been exacerbated by the covid-19 crisis.

With an estimated 80,000 landlords at risk of going bankrupt as a result of the pandemic, it advises property owners to examine how healthy their businesses are, utilise software such as Lendlord, negotiate agreements with tenants who might be facing their own financial problems, and plan for the near future, among other suggestions.

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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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

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

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