SMEs need a helping hand.

10th March 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Hardship fund to support virus-hit businesses

Sources have told the Telegraph that small businesses could be provided with cheap loans to keep them afloat until the coronavirus epidemic passes.

The Chancellor is expected to announce a package of measures in his first Budget on Wednesday to limit the economic impact of the virus, but the Treasury has declined to comment.

Separately, the IMF’s chief economist Gita Gopinath has said central banks should be prepared to provide liquidity to lenders and financial companies, particularly those providing loans to small businesses, to offset damage caused by the coronavirus.

NatWest pledges £5bn to support SMEs

NatWest has promised £5bn to support UK small and medium-sized businesses suffering from disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The funding will be used to provide loan repayment holidays of up to six months, as well as temporary emergency loans with no fees. Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Business, welcomed NatWest’s package but warned banks not to make the same mistakes they made after 2008 when they abused the trust of small businesses.

Elsewhere, Barclays is offering its business clients 12-month capital repayment holidays on loans worth more than £25,000, as well as bigger overdrafts and access to a £14bn fund launched last year as part of a three-year commitment to small firms to build resilience during uncertain times.

small tweaks could give start-ups better access to cash

Richard Halpin, the founder of The Enterprise Trust, outlined in City AM some proposals to improve access to finance for small firms.

He calls for simplification of the process of qualifying for the Enterprise Investment Scheme and more advice to be provided by Startup Loans to businesses when they finish paying their loans back.

Data sharing between incubators and accelerators should be compulsory so the best schemes can more easily be identified.

Such “small tweaks” to the system can have a significant impact on getting finance to small firms, concludes Halpin. A report from The Enterprise Trust and The Entrepreneurs Network points out that one in 10 small businesses are not seeking the external capital that would allow them to grow.

Downturn could kill zombies

There have been fresh talkd regarding the climate for “zombie” businesses – firms kept “just about alive by a cheap money”, with some arguing that a “sudden downturn may put them out of their misery, and when the economy finally recovers it will be healthier for it.”

Cited is a  KPMG report from last year which estimated that one in seven UK companies could effectively be zombies and could go bust in a downturn.

Brexit and virus brings gloom to SMEs

A small business confidence index launched by banking platform Tide shows more than 70% of the UK’s SMEs do not expect the country’s economy to grow during the rest of 2020 while nearly 60% say they are unlikely to invest in growing their business in the next quarter.

The survey found concerns over a future EU trade deal and the impact of the coronavirus have led to the decline in sentiment

2020 set to see record start-ups

Research from financial management firm Intuit QuickBooks suggests 2020 could see a record number of new start-ups, with 1.8m people planning on launching a business.

If they all do so, it would mark a 30% increase on the 1.4m new limited company and self-employed registrations recorded in 2019.

Chris Evans, vice president and UK country manager at Intuit QuickBooks, said: “Our research shows there’s optimism across the country … particularly for those keen to either start or grow their own business.”

Lending figures set to rise with return of confidence

The amount of peer-to-peer and other marketplace lending to SMEs fell from £2.37bn in 2018 to £1.9bn in the first nine months of 2019 while equity investments were also down from 2018’s figure of £6.7bn to £5.5bn.

According to the latest 2020 Small Business Finance Markets report from the British Business Bank, lending from banks to SMEs was also down by nearly 2% year-on-year at £57bn compared with £58bn in 2018.

Matt Adey, director of economics at British Business Bank, adds that business confidence was very low in 2019 but since the election, surveys suggest it is ticking up.

“That will translate into investment plans,” he said. “There’s the prospect of things improving but that will take time to come through.”

Over the last five years, peer-to-peer business lending volumes have risen by 374%, the BBB added.

FSB urges Chancellor to boost small firms

Mike Cherry, national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, has urged the Chancellor to use his first Budget to help support SMEs, saying “he needs to recognise that, when the Government stands up for small businesses, it stands up for society as a whole.”

Mr Cherry noted that small businesses provide the Treasury £145bn in corporation tax and VAT each year and have “continued to make this contribution despite rising costs and political uncertainty taking their toll.”

On how Rishi Sunak can boost optimism among small firms, Mr Cherry calls for incentives that encourage start-ups to invest and hire to be maintained, saying the proposed scrapping of entrepreneurs’ relief would be “disastrous”.

He also says increasing the employment allowance would be welcomed, as would action to tackle late payments and a review of business rates.

Coronavirus could tip UK into recession

Goldman Sachs has warned that coronavirus could push the UK to the brink of recession and force Chancellor Rishi Sunak to refocus the budget on the Government’s short-term response.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank are also concerned, halving their UK growth forecast for the year to just 0.5% and suggesting interest rates could be cut by May.

Bank of England (BoE) governor Mark Carney has said the Bank is coordinating with the Treasury and international partners to deliver a “powerful and timely” response to the outbreak.

Saying the economic hit from the coronavirus could prove large but would “ultimately be temporary”, Mr Carney insisted the Bank would take “all necessary steps” to support the UK economy and financial system.

BoE officials are talking to G20 members and the International Monetary Fund over a global response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Virus triggers collapse in business confidence

A survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD) shows business confidence has collapsed in the face of the coronavirus threat, with one in five executives saying the outbreak posed a severe threat to their businesses and half now pessimistic about the economy as a whole.

The business lobby group warned of a “cashflow crunch” for companies across the UK as they face the prospect of falling orders and quarantined workers.

The IoD called on the government to help businesses by allowing struggling companies to delay tax payments and by extending a government-guaranteed loan scheme.

Storms and Covid-19 fears hit the high street

Shoppers in the UK are avoiding the high street and opting instead for food delivery and TV streaming services amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

A survey by Barclaycard shows department store sales were down in February following widespread storms and the spread of Covid-19, along with restaurant takings – figures backed up by new stats from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG.

UK broadband network will be strained by large-scale home working

Experts have warned that plans for up to a fifth of the UK workforce to work from home would put an unprecedented strain on the country’s core broadband network.

The use of personal computers to access work networks could also raise cybersecurity issues for businesses if the devices aren’t kept up to date

Incomes have stalled since 2016

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that growth in median income stalled between the 2016/17 financial year and 2018/19, growing 0.4% a year on average.

This compares to an average on 3.4% in the period between 2012/13 and 2016/17. Analysis shows that while the booming jobs market helped wages rise over the last year, higher pay was counteracted by a freeze on working-age benefits.

The ONS figures also point to inequality, with the median income for the worst-off fifth of people down 4.3% a year over the two years to 2018/19, while for the richest fifth the decline was 0.4%. Tom Clougherty, head of tax at the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank, described the ONS figures as “disappointing”, adding that they “underline the importance of the Government getting the economy firing on all cylinders.”

He added that broad-based tax cuts could “help to boost take-home pay, even if pre-tax earnings growth is sluggish”.

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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See our blog on how to communicate with your debtor early and clearly to set the framework for prompt payments

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read our Cash Flow Advice

Read about our overdue account recovery service

Read our blog – What is credit management?

Read our blog – How to select a debt collection agency

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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