Rocky Recovery, microbusinesses and the economic second wave – business news 5 August 2020.

5 August 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Recovery may be two steps forward, one step back, poll looks at the effect on micro-businesses, bounce back loans, the economic second wave, furlough, business rates, covid19, markets and a lot more news we think will affect our business visitors.

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.

Recovery may be ‘two-steps-forward, one-step-back’

The Independent’s Hamish McRae looks at how real-time data gives an insight into the economy, saying that the most current figures show activity is “coming up steadily”.

Calling real-time data “the great revolution in economic statistics”, he says previous measures centred on factors such as GDP, retail sales and unemployment are “backwards-looking and … frequently revised”.

Assessing the latest round of data, which he says shows the economy has recovered to around 95% of its pre-coronavirus level, Mr McRae says seated diner numbers have risen to 80% of the level seen a year ago, while hotel occupancy is running at 50% in the regions and 20% in London.

He notes that public transport use is “climbing steadily”, while property searches are higher than normal for the time of year but data on travel is “still very weak”. On what the next batches of data will tell us about the economic recovery, Mr McRae says the coming months may be a “two-steps-forward, one-step-back affair.”

Microbusiness poll reveals coronavirus impact

Microbusiness bosses fear they can only continue trading for nine weeks due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new poll shows.

Three quarters of the 1,000 microbusiness owners polled are unsure how they will continue to keep their business afloat, with a lack of customers, cashflow issues and uncertain consumer confidence the most common areas of concern.

The poll saw 46% of respondents say they have considered permanently closing their doors amid the crisis, while more than a third of owners have not paid themselves in a bid to cut costs and a further 28% have reduced their wage.

The analysis also found that four in 10 microbusiness owners have utilised the Government’s coronavirus support initiatives, with more than a quarter using the furlough scheme and one in five applying for a Government loan. Just under a third have used personal savings to keep their enterprise afloat with a quarter using money from their current account.

Small firms secure £34m in bounce back loans

Around £50.7bn has now been lent to firms as part of the various government-backed coronavirus loan schemes, with the bounce back loans scheme distributing £34bn to small businesses. Separately, the government has given £534m to start-ups as part of its Future Fund initiative.

Loan pressure could see ‘economic second wave’

Natalie Ceeney, chairwoman of Innovate Finance, has warned that businesses must be given time to repay coronavirus loans so as to avoid an economic second wave. She cites a City UK and EY report suggesting that of the £43bn lent to businesses – plus the £30bn of tax deferrals – £35bn is likely to be outstanding and unpayable at the end of the loan period, with half of this held by SMEs.

£34bn claimed via furlough scheme

HMRC figures show that around £34bn has been claimed through the Government’s furlough scheme to support jobs amid the coronavirus crisis. The scheme, which is set to end in October, is currently supporting 9.6m people and being utilised by 1.2m employers. As of August 1 companies have had to pay National Insurance and pension contributions for staff under the initiative’s umbrella, while next month will see employers have to pay 10% of furloughed employees’ salaries – with this rising to 20% in October.

Valuable properties could face higher business rates

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering increasing business rates for the “most valuable properties”, having called for industry opinion on whether high end shops, offices and other large premises should pay a new, higher business rate.

Feedback has also been requested on proposals to create different rates for different types of businesses. As part of a review of the levy, the Treasury has issued a call for evidence which warns that failing to raise enough revenue from business rates could put pressure on “other parts of the tax system”.

March saw the Chancellor announce a one-year £10bn business rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in a bid to ease pressure brought about by the coronavirus crisis, a move which means revenue from the levy is down by about 40%.

Considering the possibility of higher rates for more valuable buildings, Jerry Schurder at consultancy Gerald Eve said: “It beggars belief, considering the primary complaint about business rates is that the tax is just too high.” The call for evidence will also look at whether an online sales tax could provide a “sustainable and meaningful revenue source” for the Government.

Job loss fears for those in rural regions

A study by Grant Thornton shows that those living in rural areas are more at risk of losing their jobs due to the coronavirus. The report, for the County Councils Network, suggests almost 6m people in England’s counties – more than half the workforce in the county areas – are working in “at risk” jobs. It also shows that 46% of furloughed workers reside in county areas.

CGT rethink could hit investors and entrepreneurs

Finance experts have voiced concern over the possible reform of capital gains tax, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak having asked the Office for Tax Simplification to review CGT and allowances, exemptions and reliefs linked to the levy.

Financial planning business Jarrovian Wealth believes the current reliefs encourage investors and small firms to set up new ventures. With it suggested that CGT rates could be brought in line with income tax, Jarrovian Wealth’s Adam Young warns: “This would be a huge further blow for investors and entrepreneurs coming hot on the heels of Entrepreneurs’ Relief being slashed from £10m to £1m.”

Expense advice for home-workers

The Independent offers financial guidance for those working from home. It notes that they can claim expenses for their homeworking time, with UHY tax director Ian Dickinson saying: “It is an established practice that where there is a home working arrangement in place, an employer can pay a weekly amount to its employees tax-free without scrutiny or challenge.”

The Independent, Page: 52

Covid-19 general news

Global cases top 18.5 million and deaths surpass 700,000.

The Government agreed to invest £14 million in a Scottish factory that will make French biotech firm Valneva SE’s Covid-19 vaccine, in a move to secure domestic production of the shot. Both the  government and Valneva will each invest 14 million pounds  in the existing plant.

The Treasury said more than £50 billion of loans to businesses hit by Covid-19 have been approved so far. This includes £33 billion in bounce back loans for 1.1 million businesses. The government added that £13 billion has been endorsed through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and £3 billion through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme to larger businesses.

Two of the hardest-hit countries, early on, Italy and Sweden, are now keeping covid under control, but the daily case count in Spain rose past 2,000 last week and France’s rose past 1,000.

The Wall Street Journal reported that transfusions of blood rich with antibodies from recovered Covid-19 patients to those hospitalized with the virus reduced their mortality rate by about 50%

The World Health Organization has urged caution over a coronavirus vaccine that Russia has been developing, saying that while the vaccine is in clinical trials, no second- or third-phase trials from Russia have been listed to date and thus it is far behind other candidates.


The FTSE 100 was flat yesterday after Mondays gains with the Euro Stoxx 50 rising 0.2%. The NASDAQ hit yet again another new high In Asia, Nikkei is down -0.26%. Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.62%. China CSI300  is flat.  In the US S&P 500 rose 0.62%. NASDAQ rose 0.35%.

Gold – up 30% this year – broke through symbolically significant the $2000 barrier. Oil is also up with Brent at $45 and WTI above $42, both on the back of US dollar weakness as the US Government negotiated over the latest stalled stimulus package.

The Pound is at 1.31 US Dollars and 1.106 Euros.

Pizza Express to close 67 restaurants

Pizza Express has announced plans to shut 67 – or 15% – of its 449 UK restaurants, with up to 1,100 jobs at risk. The decision comes as the chain looks to broker a CVA with its unsecured creditors.

Betting firms accused of tax dodges

A report from the Social Market Foundation think-tank says offshore gambling companies should be required to have a base in Britain to stop the Treasury losing millions of pounds in tax. It found that more than half of the remote gambling services used by UK customers are provided by firms based in Gibraltar, a tax haven. The think-tank has submitted proposals to the Government which suggest firms with offices in Britain and a UK-incorporated entity would be easier to regulate. It also suggests firms that set up a UK base could be given tax breaks.

UK sues fraudulent GE for $1bn in back taxes

HMRC has accused US industrial firm General Electric of fraud and is demanding $1bn in back taxes, with the High Court ruling that HMRC can pursue its case.

Brand rank rethink

PwC ’s Future Brand Index 2020 shows a shift in the perception of large companies, reordering the top 100 companies by perception strength rather than financial clout. It evaluates brands on criteria such as their “innovation” and “passion”.

City under pressure to curb illicit cash

Rachel Millard in the Telegraph looks at efforts to curb Russian influence and money laundering in London, with campaigners pointing to the role played by “enablers” such as lawyers, accountants, estate agents and PR professionals. A Transparency International report in 2019 found evidence of 86 banks, 81 law firms and 62 accountancy firms that had, unwittingly or otherwise, helped move suspicious or corrupt wealth from around the world into properties, jets, yachts, other assets and shell 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).

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

10 Bad Habits Every Credit Controller Should Give Up

The Credit Controller’s Best Friend

Debt Recovery: It’s Easier Than You Think!

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

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

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

25 excuses for late payment and how to get around them.

Read our Cash Flow Advice

Read about our overdue account recovery service

Read our blog – What is credit management?

Read our blog – How to select a debt collection agency

20 ways to avoid identity theft

see our blog – 15 steps to avoid invoice fraud

Overcoming 5 common reasons for disputed invoices

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

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