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By May 4, 2020 Read More →

AGENDA WEST Business News: high risk credit ratings published – includes a house builder and a school – Hotel Chocolat’s problems, retailer Next in trouble and the taxman is after firms abusing the furlough scheme

The latest news from Companies House shows several firms have had their credit ratings moved to high risk and a credit limit of zero as the present Covid-19 crisis continues.

Bowbridge Homes (Site E) Limited, Motive Agency Limited, Martins Waste Clearance, Rope Access Man Power UK Limited have all suffered the indignity of a zero rating while the privately owner Park School in Somerset currently in administration is also placed in the high risk category. Opened in 1851 the school moved out of the centre of Yeovil in 2018 in a bid to attract more pupils at a larger site but has struggled ever since. The Covid-19 outbreak has meant a drop in parents signing up their children for the new term plunging the enterprise into administration with Grant Thornton charged with finding a buyer.

Chocolate problem

Meanwhile on the High Street John Lewis has announced they may not reopen all their stores after lock down and Next has seen a 52% fall in sales in the year up to April 25. Another casualty – this time of the lucrative Easter egg market – is Hotel Chocolat who were forced to close their stores for the industry’s second biggest season of the year. However they did get a sales spike just before the closure and are concentrating on online sales but have had to alter their bank lending facility as a result reported Elena Cherubini in The Grocer.

The taxman cometh

ICSM Credit understands from its sources that HMRC are pursuing several big name firms for forcing furloughed staff to work in direct contravention of the rules – which if proved could lead to massive fines. The Guardian reported this week that Sports Direct and House of Fraser have allegedly breached the rules by sending managers into work and asking them not to clock on. Don’t forget the taxman doesn’t stop working during the lock down.

Logistic issue

Despite the boom in logistics there has been another casualty in the industry with Carters Haulage in Hertfordshire entering administration. Chris Tindall writing in Motor Transport said the firm had expanded from one lorry to 40 in just three years to service a blue chip client and then lost the business months later. He reported: “In a report to creditors, administrators at SFP also said it was now investigating ‘certain transactions’ prior to their appointment and that it may be advisable for the business to remain in administration for the time being.”

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 on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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