Half a million businesses in serious financial difficulties –  business news  24 July 2020.

24 July 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Half a million businesses are in serious financial difficulties, manufacturers suffer worst plunge in 40 years, is the recovery pausing, call for small businesses to be included in the response, face masks become mandatory in shops in covid19 news and a lot more.

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.

Half a million businesses in serious financial difficulties last month

Begbies Traynor has found over half a million businesses were in significant financial distress at the end of June with the period April to June the seventh quarter in which corporate pain increased, the longest run in six years.

The firm’s Red Flag alert found 527,000 businesses in serious financial difficulties last month, an increase of 33,000 over last year.

Begbies said all sectors showed rising distress, but the true impact of the pandemic “will only become apparent during the third and fourth quarters of 2020 as government support initiatives are unwound and courts fully reopen so that enforcement action can be taken”.

UK manufacturers suffer worst slump in 40 years

Britain’s manufacturers saw orders plunge at their fastest pace for almost four decades over the last quarter, according to the latest CBI quarterly Industrial Trends Survey.

The report, in which 356 manufacturers participated, found that volumes declined by 56%, while orders plummeted by 60%. Business sentiment stabilised in the three months to July, following a survey-record plunge in April, while export sentiment fell at a slower pace following a record decline in the last quarter.

“Manufacturers continue to face extreme hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis”, said CBI chief economist Rain Newton Smith. “There are tentative signs of gradual recovery on the horizon, with firms expecting output and orders to begin to pick up in the next three months. But demand still remains deeply depressed.”

Latest spending data shows pause in UK economic recovery

Spending data indicate the economic recovery which began in April may be going into reverse as consumers remained cautious. The figures suggest hopes for a V-shaped recovery maybe optimistic.

Small businesses must be included in emergency response

Writing in City AM, Helen Brand, the chief executive of ACCA, says a tracker poll run by the ACCA and the Corporate Finance Network found 83% of business owners are stressed and anxious about their future compared to 69% a month ago.

The proportion not sleeping rose from 17% to 33% and 18% now feel unable to cope compared to 8% last month.

Brand says the ACCA is supporting the efforts of various campaigns calling for the smallest businesses to be given government support to ride out the pandemic. The ACCA has also contributed to The City UK’s Recapitalisation paper, which proposed converting state-backed business loans into a tax obligation which is repaid alongside other business taxes in a similar model to student loans.

Brand concludes that: “There is a clear need for greater government support for the left behind. Accountants are joining the cause, and it’s time for policy makers to join them.”


UK Retail Sales almost recovered in June from their staggering drops during Britain’s coronavirus lockdowns, official data showed today. The volume of retail sales jumped 13.9% from May to June as shops and non-essential stores opened their doors to customers once again following a lock-down that started on 23 March.

Bank of England promises to spur long-term investing

The Bank of England’s executive director for financial stability Alex Brazier has suggested that the central bank could change its rules to encourage long-term investing in companies left with huge debt piles after COVID-19. In a speech on Thursday, Mr Brazier argued that firms should be encouraged to put their finances back on track by selling shares to new investors rather than take on debt. Some £275bn of debt will mature next year and if measures are not taken to create new opportunities for issuers and investors then the economy will be put at risk, said Mr Brazier.

Covid-19 general news

Global cases reached 15.5 million with deaths passing 633,000

From today face masks become mandatory when shopping in England.hose who break the rules face a £100 fine. The government yesterday confirmed that the rule also applied to food outlets.

According to a poll by Opinium, a market-research company, 71% of people in Britain support making masks mandatory in shops, with only 13% opposing it.  That is a little surprising as the British are among the least likely in the developed world to actually wear a mask away from the home as they go about their daily life.

On the fight against the virus, it has been found that the pathogen could travel more than 8 meters or 26 feet in a cold German meat plant with stale air, and home-made masks work best if layered.

What’s the best mask to wear? Scientists in Australia have shown that multi layer home made masks are far better than single layer mask. Follow the link to see the video on twitter.

In a bid to help hospitals weather a surge in cases next winter, the government plans to double the number of flu vaccinations to more than 30 million this season.

Virus deaths in the U.S. rose by more than 1,000 for a third consecutive day, as Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir said the nation has about 200,000 infections daily, warning that testing and contact tracing would no longer be enough to contain the rampant outbreak.

As the number of covid-19 cases in America surpassed 4m, President Donald Trump cancelled the Republican Party’s convention in Jacksonville


The FTSE 100 and European stocks ended the day basically flat yesterday after early gains were surrendered on the rising tensions between the US and China and the UK’s chief negotiator suggesting the aim of agreeing a preliminary Brexit deal by the end of this month will not be reached. It was Unilever that topped the market however, after the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods firm maintained its dividend and said the effect of Covid-19 has varied widely across all its channels, regions and categories. The maker of Dove soap and Domestos household cleaner said it increased its hand sanitiser capacity by 600 times across several brands and rolled out its Lifebuoy hygiene brand to more than 50 markets. Shares were 7.9% higher at the close.

The financial markets are generally in risk-off mode in Asia, following the selloff in US overnight. Worries over a double dip recession increased after initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose for the first time in nearly four months. The selloff was most serious in NASDAQ,, which closed down -2.29% while the S&P 500 ended the day -1.23% lower. Tech stocks plunged with Apple, Microsoft and Amazon all dropping by around 4%.


The UK and EU have said they still remain some way off reaching a post-Brexit trade agreement, following the latest negotiations in London. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said a deal looked “at this point unlikely” given the UK position on fishing rights and post-Brexit competition rules. His UK counterpart David Frost said “considerable gaps” remained in these areas, but a deal was still possible. Michel Barnier told reporters on Thursday that “big differences” remain between the two parties and that a deal is “unlikely” if the U.K. refuses to back down on its red lines.

Think tank calls for new capital gains tax on homes

The Guardian’s Nils Pratley says the idea put forward by the Social Market Foundation think tank to introduce a capital gains tax on primary residences deserves a hearing. The paper’s author, Michael Johnson, calculated that when levied at a rate of 10%, and assuming houses rise in value by only 1% a year, the tax on “unearned” gains would raise £629bn for the Treasury over 25 years. He suggested that some of this should be used to abolish stamp duty and inheritance tax on property, leaving the Treasury with £421bn to repair the public finances. “Unearned gains on property are a better target for new taxes than workers’ earned income,” argues the think tank, a sentiment that Pratley suggests “stands a good chance of commanding broad electoral appeal.” The only other place for a hard-up chancellor to go is pensions, he asserts, which “presents even more political pitfalls.”

Wylie and Bisset reports rise in digital accounting

Lockdown restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic prompted many clients to switch to digital accounting, according to chartered accountants Wylie & Bisset. Partner Andrew Cowling remarked: “Those clients who decided to make the switch to digital accounting have quickly realised just how simple it is to manage and how much time it frees up for them to concentrate on other, aspects of their business operations.” He went on: “Focusing on the digital workspace has probably been long overdue for many companies. But as working from home became a necessity for many, forward-thinking companies have invested in digital transformation and have quickly realised the efficiency gains from having done so.”

Tax credits deadline: customers at risk of losing out

Tax credits customers have just one week left to tell HMRC about changes to their circumstances or income before the deadline on 31 July 2020. Customers whose circumstances have changed in the last year or who have received a letter to reconfirm their income details must contact HMRC. Failure to respond by the deadline may mean tax credits customers receive incorrect tax credits payments and may end up having to repay any overpayments. HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, Angela MacDonald, said: “Tax credits provide much needed financial support to our customers. But we know that many customers leave it to the last minute to renew their tax credits award. The time to renew your tax credits is now, you don’t need to wait until deadline day on 31 July.”

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).

A very recent report shows a 23% increase in the number of unpaid invoices since March 11th THIS YEAR – are you getting a build-up of late payers?

 Right now, overdue accounts must be a concern and CPA has a great track record of encouraging slow-payers to pay their suppliers quickly.

It takes less than 17 minutes to see how you would benefit, do you have the time now?

No face-to-face meeting required – just call Peter Uwins, CPA’s National Sales Manager, on 020 8846 0000 (business hours) or email nsm@cpa.co.uk 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 with serious financial difficulties 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 and spot those with serious financial difficulties .

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 serious financial difficulties 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 serious financial difficulties with cash flow problems 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 are in serious financial difficulties and 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 in serious financial difficulties, or 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 were in serious financial difficulties and 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.

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