Welcome to ICSM Credit's Covid-19 newsletter

LOCK DOWN AND THE NEW NORMAL Back in the 1980s we had not one but two recessions book-ending the decade with the 1990 one. Since then we’ve had the Credit Crunch of 2007-08 and the dip in 2012. Now we have another one with the fall-out from the Covid-19 crisis as much of the economy is shut down.

This latest one is by far the worst as it is global and has hit chunks of the economy that were already under pressure. The printing and newspaper industries were in decline as were the package holiday business and retailing. Analysts are predicting the economy will take four years to get back to normal while the travel and airline businesses will take a massive hit along with any activity that forces large numbers of people together like concerts and sports matches.
We are where we are but that doesn’t mean we can’t survive – as I mentioned I’ve been through at least four and despite it all I’m still here as are many firms who know what to do when things go wrong.

Act now:
Use your time to go through your ledger and urgently draw up a list of overdue accounts.
Use ICSM Credit’s FREE legal letters which have an 87% success rate within 14 days.
Use ICSM Credit’s Debt Collection Department to get the cash that should be in your bank.

Tip 1

My first tip is to trim your sails and batten down the hatches. Be ruthless with cost cutting which means of course some tough decisions over staff and company overheads.

Tip 2
My second tip is to chase down all overdue invoices even if they are only one day past the date. It is money you have earned and should by rights be in your bank account. If your debtor uses the traditional delaying tactics and is obviously not being straight then go in hard and fast. Issue one of our FREE legal letters immediately and if that fails then use our debt collection service. The legal letters bring in 90% of overdue funds within days but these are unusual times so the longer you allow people to pay the more squeezed your cash flow will be - and people are paying despite the lock down - so don't take no for an answer.

Tip 3
My third tip is to think outside the box about the future of your business. If you were successful and happier when it was just you and maybe one or two others – then seriously consider returning to those leaner but solvent times. Jettison any clients who waste your time and either pay too little or too late. Look at the parts of your business that pay well and concentrate on those – and look ahead. Business will be different when the lock down ends. Home deliveries are in with the traditional milkman and hyper local businesses and services back in fashion while shopping online will be huge. Can your firm adjust to the new normal by looking at how others are doing it? With less money about and people reluctant to travel far for work or pleasure we could see the British seaside holiday and all that entails back in vogue. How things will pan out is an uncertain science but there are pointers already.

Tip 4
Finally my fourth tip is keep a sense of perspective and put family and friends first. A good sense of humour helps in these times but many people I know have said the lock down has helped them to be a little more philosophical as they’ve realised what is important to them.

On that note, do keep in touch and follow our insolvency and business news on the website and on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Let’s hope we’re all here in a month’s time.

Best wishes
Ian Carrotte
Proprietor of ICSM Credit
For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

ICSM Credit, the Exchange, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 4RR

Not a member? Join for less than a tank of diesel and protect yourself from late payers.
For a video on how to send a FREE LEGAL LETTER visit: https://youtu.be/AIycysoFhYo

After the lock down: a look into the future

It is not official but little by little many businesses are beginning to reopen in a limited way. Traffic has picked up on the motorways and some firms who thought they were non-essential enterprises have found a way round the dictates from central Government. B&Q have reopened their stores including their garden centres while Halfords have reopened the majority of their 460 stores.

Pharmacies, petrol stations, newsagents, bicycle shops, home and hardware stores, launderettes and dry cleaners, garages, pet shops, post offices and banks have remained for the large part open although not all businesses in these sectors have kept their doors open. Supermarkets and corner stores have remained open and parts of the building trade have maintained operations despite criticism.

Various dates have been mooted in the media as to when the lock down will be lifted with the received wisdom being it will be a gradual reopening with shops and garden centres first and pubs and restaurants last. The question is what state will business be in when it happens? Here are a few scenarios:

Early lift-off in May

With the outbreak under control and the depressing death and infection statistics falling to near zero the economy is restarted with a general back to work. Huge demands from consumers for almost all types of products sparks a massive sigh of relief from all and as a result the smallest number of firms going into administration. High Street stores reopen and find cash flow streaming back to Christmas levels. Struggling printing companies, sign makers suddenly have an order book of work that guarantees business for the rest of 2020. Despite banks being difficult during the lock down and insisting on commercial loans with high interest rates finance directors realise their revised cash flow forecasts mean they will be back in the black by the autumn and can give their lenders two fingers. All highly unlikely but we live in hope that we might escape the worst.

Trickle back in June
June 1st has been suggested by some in the teaching profession as the earliest date the schools can start to return to normal. Staggered numbers of pupils are allowed back with priority to primary and infant schools - which of course allows the parents of the children to return to work and nurseries and childminders to reopen. At the same time clothing stores, leisure centres for outdoor sports, furnishing and furniture stores, barbers and hairdressers open with some social distancing measures in place. By June with insurers pulling cover on invoicing for firms due to there being a pandemic scores of printing firms, hauliers, manufacturers and engineering companies will find they are insolvent. Large numbers of firms call in the administrators and personal bankruptcies rocket. Don’t expect a U-shape recession.

Too late in July
If there remains a total lock down until July some firms will break ranks and vote with their feet and return to work despite the law. But up to 50% of retailers, 40% of service industry firms and 30% of manufacturers will have gone bust. Commentators have looked to the past to see how damaging a recession that would result with a late return to normal working. The Credit Crunch was bad as were the recessions of the 1980s but such a delay could be more like a depression. Later than July and we’re talking wipe-out for the pub and restaurant trades. Cinemas, night clubs, arts centres, holiday parks and tourist sites will see mass casualties especially if the lock down is reintroduced as a second wave of coronavirus sweeps the country in the autumn. Let’s hope there’s a jab available by then.

After coronavirus
These are the personal thoughts of the journalist Harry Mottram so don’t take them to heart but at present it’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel. What is certain is there will be a major restructuring of business with some sectors unlikely to recover to pre-lock down levels. Those who relied on the insurance companies to bail them out as their clients went bust or refused to pay will be disappointed. And those factoring their invoices likewise will have seen this model of payment founder on the coronavirus rocks.

Newspapers have taken a further knock to their circulations with publishers increasingly putting up paywalls on their news websites to up the income. Newsquest has announced all its titles will be monetised this way as a result of coronavirus as the print product continues its decline while 20 weekly papers have suspended publication for the duration of the crisis – whether they reopen is open to question. However with time on their hands the public have taken to reading books with an increase in sales with fantasy and educational literature doing particularly well.

With pubs and restaurants likely to be the last to reopen sadly the British public have got used to entertaining at home meaning many establishments will have died. The dark kitchen industry is one success story with meals delivered to householders a cheaper alternative to dining out, and deliveries in particular from Amazon but increasingly retail stores who have switched to online like Cath Kidston are increasingly the future.

Home working has become the norm for many firms so expect some companies to cut their losses and give notice to expensive rented suites in fashionable locations with a smaller hub and the staff working from home. Together with retailers deserting the high street there could be a boom in converting more redundant offices and shops to flats and apartments. More work for builders, fitters and associated trades along with sign-makers and estate agents.

Firms specialising in working out why people buy certain things online and from particulare websites are on the increase along with one slightly unexpected business growth: in second hand cars. Not the traditional site by the main road with rows of ex-company cars for sale but an online service where you key in the specifications you want and the car is brought to your door for you to take delivery. Cazoo raised £100m last week to expand its operation. Arthur Daley eat your heart out.

They say every economic downturn has an upside. New business models emerge as older industries die off. But the good news is if your business comes out of this pandemic intact and profitable then you have a bright future as competition will be less and prices will be higher.


Disaster for suppliers and staff of Spicers Office Team as firm looks set for administration

The ghosts of Polestar return and the latest on the Antalis take-over plus trouble at Pizza Express

Red alert to suppliers as Airbus says it is bleeding cash and National Holidays has its credit rating slashed


Runners and Riders
Below is a collated list taken from the Government’s London Gazette of businesses in the industry who are experiencing problems in the last few weeks.

Administrators Appointed
ATL Logistics Limited  43892
Birchley Hall Limited  43892
(The) Creative Engine Limited  43893
DJS (UK) Limited  43893
ER Travel Services Limited  43893
Great British Chefs Limited  43920
Kew Media Group UK Holdings Limited  43893
Kew Media Group UK Limited  43893
Kew Media International Limited  43893
Mad Dog Brewing Company Limited  43895
MBI Ferndale Limited  43892
MBI Lynwood Limited  43892
MBI Sandycroft Limited  43892
NWP Creative LLP  43922
R J Cadman Construction Limited  43892
S Walker Transport Limited  43893
Will Nixon Construction Group Limited  43893

Administrators Meetings Para 51
EBO Quality Signs Limited  43895

Compulsory Liquidators Appointed s 136
Giasullo Engineering Limited  43893

Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation Deemed in Consent Meetings
A One Shopfronts Limited  43893
Armstrong Printing Group Limited  43920
Budget Bargains Limited  43892
Decellie Ltd  43893
Fizzthinks360 Limited  43892
Front Events Limited  43892
Graham Kitchens, Bathrooms and Bedrooms Limited  43892
Holiday Designers Limited  43924
Inconstruction Building Services Limited  43892
K D Construction and Management Services (Wales) Limited  43893
Laidmore Construction Limited  43893
MKR 94 Limited  43893
Newton Design Engineering Ltd  43893
Noahs Media Limited  43924
Noverre Retail Limited  43892
Prestige Windows, Doors & Conservatories Limited  43892
Profectus Marketing Solutions Limited  43921
Reflex Litho Limited  43920
(The) Riverside Chinese Limited  43892
Taxi Team Limited  43892
Westerhope Flooring Limited  43893
Workshop HR Solutions Limited  4389

Liquidators Appointed
Acropolis Design Limited  43901
Aim Design Company Limited  43915
Amazement Limited  43893
Atlantic Interior Limited  43893
Bicester Logistics Limited  43901
Blue Fashion Limited  43915
Bold Tyre Centre Limited  43892
Box of Allsorts Limited  43893
Brando Media Limited  43908
Brookside Press Design & Print Limited  43914
Brothers Plumbing Limited  43893
Cariad Café Bar Limited  43895
Chims Pizza Limited  43892
Cobs Bar Limited  43892
CG Kitchens & Bedrooms Limited  43893
Cold Laundry Limited  43893
Complete 24 Limited  43893
Craven Bar Co. Limited  43893
D S Couriers Limited  43901
D B Jewellery Design Limited  43915
EKV Design Limited  43895
FCL Finishing Limited  43901
Future Energy Group (UK) Limited  43893
Gov Construction Limited  43895
GTG Interiors Limited  43895
Harrogate Wedding Lounge Limited  43893
Hollingworth & Moss Limited  43924
Icon Marketing Limited  43915
Kari-C Design Limited  43915
J S B Joinery and Construction Limited  43892
JUT Solutions Limited  43892
(The) LCJ Group Ltd  43892
Liked Media Limited  43921
Main Street Displays Limited  43924
Marketing Gloucester Limited  43901
Mark Griffiths Design and Build Limited  43915
Matchmask Limited  43915
Media Jems Limited  43893
NG Takeaways Limited  43892
On Point Construction London Limited  43893
Pauls Haulage Limited  43893
Prelude Engineering and Design Limited  43923
Prestige Energy Limited  43901
PDS Dental Laboratory Leeds Limited  43893
Pollhill Floral Designs Limited  43920
(The) Print Academy (Yorkshire) Limited  43922
Printed Solutions Limited  43915
Promote My Brand Limited  43893
Ranny Logistics Ltd  43893
Reflex Litho Limited  43920
Remmer & Son Limited  43892
RMR Rail Limited  43892
See 3 Dimensions Limited LIMITED  43924
Seven Days Solutions Ltd  43921
S G Transport and Packaging Limited  43892
Sonex Media Limited  43915
Spectrum Welding and Engineering Supplies Limited  43892
Swift Office Stuff Limited  43920
Symposium Print Limited  43892
Tucan Building Ltd  43901
UK Book Binders (WSM) Ltd  43924
Viewable Media UK Limited  43901
World Sky Travel Limited  43892
Xandweb Ltd  43892

Members Voluntary Liquidations
Access Media Ventures Limited  43922
Alderwood Homes (NW) Limited  43892
A P Displays (Leicester) Limited  43893
A W S Appliance Spares Limited  43893
A. Mercer Limited  43893
Billingham Press Limited  43874
Brunel IT Consulting Limited  43893
Bill Wilkinson Consulting Limited  43892
Boston Rock Limited  43892
C G Evans (Property) Ltd  43892
Chainladder Limited  43892
Coastal Launch Services Limited  43893
Digital Edge Consulting Limited  43893
Cormorant Design Limited  43921
Dr Stephen Mark Wilkinson Limited  43893
Dunnhumby Advertising Limited  43895
EMS Support Limited  43892
ERP Stable Limited.  43892
EKV Design Limited  43874
French Soccer Limited  43874
Fastnet Digital Media Limited  43895
Fin Printers International Limited  43908
Fox & Hounds (Sinnington) Limited  43895
G&E Limited  43893
Greenbridge MOT Centre (Wiltshire) Limited  43874
G.G.A. Developments Limited  43893
Gale Creek Investments Limited  43893
Gaynor Consulting Services Limited  43893
Hannah Adam Limited  43892
Haien Limited  43893
Hooklands Yard Developments Limited  43893
Irene Fashions Limited  43892
Keys Consultancy Limited  43892
KSS Retail Limited  43895
Legal & Office Services Limited  43892
L. Chambers Motors Limited  43901
Mark Turpitt Cars Limited  43901
Mattison Public Relations Limited  43908
Pixel Paper Stone Limited  43908
Mayfly Media Limited  43920
Mimecast Development Limited  43892
Mossley Management Solutions Limited  43892
Media Circus Limited  43901
Medical Consultant Reports Limited  43893
MRM UK Consulting Services Limited  43893
Northern Truck Ltd  43874
PBS Design Limited  43892
P.K.K. Storage Limited  43895
Publishing Today Limited  43893
R & S Systems Limited  43893
Repro Arts Limited  43893
Roteq Engineering Limited  43893
R.A. Whiting Design Limited  43895
Scolaw Limited  43892
Simply Migrate Limited  43892
Taunton Design and Print Limited  43901
Trewfood Limited  43892
Penny Vincenzi Limited  43895
Vivid Outdoor Media (UK) Limited  43914
Worrall Lees Associates Limited  43892
Wright Manufacturing Services Limited  43893

Petitions to Wind Up
A1 Group (South) Limited  43893
Active Remedial Solutions Limited  43893
Cable & Climate Limited  43893
Cali Construction Resources Limited  43892
Digital Supermarket Limited  43924
Ellison Coating Systems Limited  43892
Essex Home Build Limited  43892
First Choice Couriers Limited  43896
Nicholls Builders Limited   43896
Poundbury Publishing Limited  43875
RJC Structural Design Limited  43896
Symposium Print Limited  43896
Trust In Media Limited  43896
T2 Build Systems Limited  43894
T M L Recycling Limited  43893

Winding Up Dismissal
R.D.F. Property Maintenance Limited  43892
IBB Builders Merchants Limited  43895

Winding up orders
Denova Design Limited  43895
Living Star Furniture Limited  43893

For information on ICSM visit www.icsmcredit.com or call 0844 854 1850.
ICSM, The Exchange, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 4RR. Tel: 0844 854 1850. www.icsmcredit.comIan.carrotte@icsmcredit.com