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By July 29, 2020 Read More →

AGENDA WEST BUSINESS NEWS: Harry and Meghan’s foundation liquidated; family print firm crashes; caterers left out of hospitality’s VAT cut; and warning to creditors of collapsing retailers

Sometimes firms come to an end because they are not insolvent. In voluntary liquidations the directors or owners simply wish to close the business for various reasons. Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said that there are often very good reasons to wind up a business.

“Sometimes the owner wishes to retire but has no one to pass the business onto,” he said. “they will pay all the bills, settle any accounts and simply shut up shop. Companies House will need to be informed and there is a strict procedure to go through including a declaration to wind the business up, create a statement of the company’s assets and liabilities, call a meeting for shareholders if there are any and advertise the resolution in the Gazette.”

Harry and Meghan close the Sussex Royal Foundation

The Sussex Royal Foundation run by Prince Harry and Meghan has been shut down after the couple’s decision to move to the USA and leave the Royal Family.

Documents filed at Companies House confirm their decision to close the charitable enterprise as they plan to concentrate on a new charity in North America called Archewell.

The Mail On Line reported: “The move to dissolve the Foundation follows the Queen’s decision that Harry and Meghan can no longer use the word ‘royal’ in their branding. The full details of the documents have not yet been revealed, but are expected to appear on the Companies House website in the next five days.”

ICSM Credit understands the Sussex Royal Foundation has not left a trail of unpaid creditors but is a tidying up exercise and effectively a full stop punctuating the end of their activities in the UK.

Print firm enters administration

One of the West Midlands most high profile print businesses has gone into administration. Hill Shorter Limited based in Roebuck Lane in West Bromwich date back to the 19th century as a family firm as creating brochures, calendars, case bound books, fine art prints, greetings cards, gift wrap, posters and college prospectuses.

They have produced work for many in the popular music industry including Madonna, Take That, Elvis, The Rolling Stones, Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Prince, Kylie and Elton John.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said it was a sad day when firms like Hill Shorter were forced into administration as work dried up and the industry in particular contracted.

Sandwiches with a lot of VAT

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s 15% VAT cut for the hospitality industry does not apply to the 100,000 independent caterers who are excluded by the £4.2bn giveaway.

Restaurants, cafes and takeaways have been thrown the lifeline but not those who cater for funerals, weddings, corporate conferences and parties.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said it showed a fundamental lack of knowledge in Government circles of how the catering economy works. “There’s the sole trader who makes wedding cakes and the temporary bar business run by a family and friends who set up drinks bars for outdoor events,” he said, “and they are all part of the business world. Just because they don’t have a high street presence doesn’t mean they don’t exist.”

Dan Fox of the Nationwide Caterers Association said: “The mobile and event catering industry employs over 100,000 people and contributes over £2billion to the UK economy, yet most of these businesses did not benefit from the hospitality grants and could be overlooked yet again. We call on the government for the parameters of this VAT cut to be made explicitly clear and for confirmation that catering for private events such as weddings and funerals will benefit from the reduction in VAT to 5% in the same way that other hospitality businesses will do.”

The cut of VAT to 5% is for hot and cold food for consumption on the premises on which they are supplied; hot and cold non-alcoholic drinks for consumption on the premises on which they are supplied; hot takeaway food for consumption off the premises on which they are supplied; hot takeaway non-alcoholic drinks for consumption off the premises on which they are supplied.

Beware of falling footfall

ICSM Credit has raised concerns amongst its members over the massive job cuts taking place in the retail industry as it adjusts to the effects of a drop in footfall caused by Covid 19.

The Swindon-based Oak Furnitureland for instance is to close down 27 of its 105 showrooms putting 163 jobs at risk, while Selfridges are slashing jobs in its stores as are Harrods and Arcadia.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit has warned suppliers to retailers big and small to be careful in granting credit when they are clearly in distress. He said Holland & Barratt who were exposed by MPs to pay on average 68 days late were only the tip of the iceberg.

“We have seen retailers continue to place orders with suppliers in the hours before they go bust,” he said, “meaning the supplier will never be paid. Keep strict credit control and don’t fall for the ‘do you know how big we are’ line from a buyer looking to place an order when you query if they will pay on time.”

The Centre for Retail Research (CRR) revealed that 24,348 jobs have been lost across insolvent UK retailers this year and 31,628 jobs are still at risk because many retailers still expected to permanently close some stores. The CRR believes the end of the furlough scheme will see many more retailers going bust and have called for an ‘across the board’ cut in VAT and free parking in city centres for the next few months.

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel – while at the moment there’s a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach – ask for details from Paul.

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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