With apologies to Raquel Welch in the movie One Million Years BC

Survival of the fittest in the economically chilling aftermath of the Covid-19 Crisis

2020 has seen the worst economic downturn since the 1930s according to economists – but there are reasons to be positive about 2021

Hello and welcome to our monthly newsletter,

Let’s face it, so far 2020 sucks. But on the positive side the worst may be behind us as the economy begins its climb out of the mess left by the Covid-19 shut-down. 

In the positive Darwinian sense if your business can survive a recession then it will only thrive as things improve. A bit like when mammals replaced dinosaurs after a meteor wiped them out 65 million years ago. Or in popular cinematic culture when Loana (Raquel Welch) and the Sea Tribe survive the volcano to emerge into a desolate landscape in the 1966 movie One Million Years BC to rebuild their lives. 

At ICSM Credit we monitor failing businesses that may go bust leaving a trail of unpaid invoices for suppliers. Together with our members we highlight them so suppliers don’t get left high and dry if the worst happens. Sadly this autumn will see more companies go bust as the furlough scheme ends but we have had success in saving our members hundreds of thousands of pounds in bad debts this year by flagging up problem firms. And our debt collection sector has never been busier or more successful – so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a problem – or use our free legal letters to secure payment.

In this issue there is plenty of news about liquidations, CVAs, mergers and acquisitions in all sectors of UK businesses. One feature I think will be of interest is the one on ten positive changes you can make to your business in a post-pandemic world. It highlights the importance of keeping a tight grip on credit control, establishing reserves, consolidating costs, and pivoting your business among other useful tips.

One tip I will give is if you haven’t yet joined ICSM Credit yet is to to join now as we have a temporary free membership which ends when furloughing is scrapped – it could save your business from bad debts this autumn.

There’s lots more news on the website and on our social media on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – stay in touch and keep on keeping on.

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? Normally you can join for less than a tank of diesel and protect yourself from late payers but we have a special free temporary membership offer in September. Use our free legal letters to chase unpaid invoices.

For a video on how to send a FREE LEGAL LETTER visit:https://youtu.be/AIycysoFhYo

Covid-19: 10 positive changes you must make to your business in a post pandemic world

Thousands of businesses have gone to the wall and millions have lost their jobs – yes Covid 19 has been a disaster for the UK economy. Except for one aspect. Work and fiscal practices that may not have taken place in many work-places have been fast forwarded due to the urgent nature of the crisis. It’s all about survival.

1 Credit control must change

Many firms have not been paid by their clients for work invoiced before the crisis began in March. The shut-down hasn’t helped but in many sectors 120 days credit is not unusual. When a firm goes into administration the creditors are left with four months of unpaid work as well as any work in progress. If however a supplier insists on 30 days credit then clearly if the worst happens the economic hit is much less. Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said tight credit control is vital as it can be the difference of a company surviving or not going under if they are hit by a bad debt. He said discount invoicing for prompt payment simply undercut a firm’s profitability while factoring often meant a company was trading at a loss.

2 Have something in reserve

Too many businesses have virtually no reserves so when an unexpected bill comes in from the taxman or they hit a lean period such as the Covid 19 shut down meaning they run out of cash. Putting away money into a reserve account should be standard practice said Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit. He said it was one the lessons that many companies have learnt to their cost with the only option to borrow to bail themselves out of a hole. A rule of thumb is to put by up to six months of all business costs in an account as a cash reserve. Whenever that reserve is eaten into then, as soon as possible, replace it. Easier said than done I’m sure some will reply.

3 Review your office requirements

With many people working from home a lot of firms have realised they may not need large city centre offices. One option is to down size to a hub or smaller office and ask staff to come in for one or two days a week and work at home for the rest of the time. A hub is essentially a small office with a meeting room and enough work spaces for hot desking.

4 Consolidate factory and workshops

Some firms work from more than one site. With fewer staff retained and an examination of surplus space it is possible for many businesses to consolidate onto one site. There is a saving in communication, logistics, labour, rent, business rates, utility bills and the storage of stock. It may also be able to reduce the amount of vans, pool cars and other high value kit which may be leased.

5 Cash is king

Having several smaller clients who pay regularly every month are a safer bet than a handful of major clients whose work is irregular if lucrative. Having all your eggs in one basket is always risky especially if your one major client gets into trouble or there is another pandemic. A large number of customers who pay on 30 days or less means your business will always have cash flow – and cash is king as it gives your business flexibility and the ability to pivot in a crisis and seek a new income stream.

6 Utilise what you have

Several manufacturers ranging from packaging to printing have moved into the production of PPE during the Covid-19 crisis. Other firms with virtually no business during the shut-down have reallocated their delivery vans into delivering for other firms.

7 Pivoting your business

If the business you are in is one of low profit margins and huge competitions driving prices lower take a look at options to pivot your enterprise into. Some traditional printers have moved into packaging, agricultural businesses have upgraded buildings into holiday lets, and shop-fitters into flat and home fitters completing work for estate agents and building firms. The important thing is once you see an opportunity is to do it quickly to save time and money. Over a period of years successful firms pivot from one type of business model to another.

8 Social media is not an add-on

Firms who have grasped social media when it first became a thing in the last decade have found during the lock-down they were able to continue getting their message across. For many companies the shut-down has been a wake up call as to how they communicate. One lesson of the Covid-19 crisis is that social media is not an option. Whether you are a pub, a litho printer, a marketing company or a legal firm building a following through Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and all the other platforms prevents you from disappearing from your customers’ awareness.

9 Zoom in for a meeting

Sending executives or sales people half-way around the world for a one hour meeting is expensive and often unnecessary. Nobody is saying that face to face meetings are dead as in the old phrase, people buy people. But often those meetings can be conducted by Zoom or other formats on the internet. So many companies have been reviewing the ROI for not just meetings, but visits to trade shows, team building weekends, seminars and conferences which have sometimes been seen as at best rewards and at worst jollies.

10 Have a plan B

Many people have said their business went off a cliff on March 23rd. Literally no trade at all. And yet pubs were suddenly becoming take-aways, restaurants were doing home deliveries and retailers geared up to become entirely online businesses during the lock-down recording record sales. We don’t know if there will be another pandemic but something sooner or later will happen to disrupt business. Those of us who have long memories will recall the fuel delivery strike of the 90s, the three day week of the 70s and the Big Freeze of the 60s. Having a Plan B is vital just in case the worst happens.


NEWS: Home Secretary intervenes over BooHoo’s suppliers scandal and retweets our story!

ICSM Credit’s Ian Carrotte has welcomed the intervention of the home secretary in the scandal that has rocked the UK fast fashion world over low wages and poor work practices.

“Priti Patel has made it plain to the owners of the fashion firm BooHoo that they have not treated their workers and suppliers properly,” he said, “paying below the minimal wage is illegal but the way BooHoo have cut off their suppliers and put the blame on them shows a callous attitude which will leave firms with unpaid invoices.”

In a letter to Boohoo CEO John Lyttle, Priti Patel wrote: “I am concerned that your response to recent reports of labour exploitation in your supply chains appears to be focused on terminating contracts with suppliers found to have breached your code of conduct, rather than on protecting vulnerable workers. I would expect Boohoo to work with its suppliers to ensure that workers are protected and remediated. It is now more important than ever before that businesses step up and take responsibility for conditions in their supply chain.”

The Manchester-based fashion firm had been exposed by the Sunday Times for paying workers as little as £3.50 an hour and refusing to let them leave their Leicester factories when unwell even when they had contracted Covid-19. The firm announced they would build a so-called model factory and end their relationship with their suppliers and set up a review process. However sceptics have suggested they were evading their responsibilities, pretending to address criticisms and have failed to pay suppliers and staff caught up in the scandal. One footnote to this story is that Priti Patel retweeted our story on Twitter. Even members of the Government read ICSM Credit News.


Duchess’ favourite store in CVA

Print industry liquidations mount as Covid-19 effect biteshttps://www.icsmcredit.com/news/viewpost.php?id=292

Crisis for the trade show industry as events pulled (full list of lost trade exhibitions here)

Sushi chain puts CVA on the menu



Furloughing has been abused by 33% of employers and resulted in new work practices which are bad for the economy


Print Industry News: print trade shows pulled until 2021; problems for print trade press; magazine sales plunge during Covid-19; and Latimer Trend workers’ redundancy victory

With Print Monthly magazine currently online only, the Print Show, Fespa and Drupa pulled until next year and a raft of printing companies going to the wall it is fair to say Covid-19 has had a disproportionate effect on the industry here and abroad.

Trade shows put back

Writing on the Print Show’s website the director Chris Davies said: “We have made the difficult decision to postpone The Print Show 2020 and The Sign Show 2020 until next year, due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in the UK. The safety of exhibitors and visitors is our number one priority and though this was not an easy choice, we believe it to be the right course of action. However, we are delighted to confirm that The Print Show and The Sign Show will both take place in 2021. The shows will run from September 28th to 30th at the NEC in Birmingham and we will publish further updates as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile Drupa have moved their show back a year in Germany and Fespa has shifted their exhibition to the Netherlands next spring. Print Week reported: “Fespa has now effectively cancelled its 2020 event and brought forward the 2021 show, which had initially been penciled in for Munich in May 2021, avoiding a clash with next year’s rescheduled Drupa in Dusseldorf. The Fespa four-day 2021 Global Print Expo, which is co-located with European Sign Expo and Sportswear Pro, will now take place at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam on 9-12 March.”

Rob Fletcher has been holding the fort for Print Monthly

No show magazine and video news

Print Week published their July issue of the trade journal while the publication struggles to deal with the pandemic’s effects on the industry. Meanwhile rival publication Print Monthly has gone on line for the time being and the operation behind it have temporarily stopped their weekly video news for printers while most staff are furloughed. Consulting editor Rob Fletcher however has continued to load up stories to the website including the news that Zecher, an international provider of anilox roller solutions, has become the latest company to announce that it won’t be turning up to Drupa. Sadly a sign of our times as all trade shows are being hit. See our feature at https://www.icsmcredit.com/news/viewpost.php?id=280

Latimer Trend workers in compensation battle

Writing for Print Week Darryl Danielli highlighted a success for workers laid off by the Plymouth print outfit Latimer Trend when the company went bust.

He wrote: “Close to 50 former employees of Latimer Trend & Company, which collapsed just under a year ago, have won their ‘failure to consult’ compensation claims and their lawyer has warned directors to ensure they properly consult with staff over redundancies. The judgement, which was issued by the Plymouth Employment Tribunal last week, means the 47 staff that made a claim are each in line for additional payments of up to £4,304.”

He continued: “Presiding judge NJ Walker issued the judgement ‘by consent’, but the employees’ solicitor, Nuala Toner, managing director of employment specialist Nualaw, said that initially the administrators were going to defend, but agreed to a judgment by consent ‘after we pointed out that the defence was not particularly strong.’”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said that companies often claim ‘special circumstances defense’ when insolvency is involved. He said: “This case shows directors who often walk away with their salaries must at the very least inform staff of a firm’s demise as they can be held liable.”

Print Week reported that following the agreement, the former employees dropped various other claims against the company including some for unfair and constructive dismissal. They said a judgement by consent is where all the parties agree the terms in which a judgment should be given.

One of the comments posted on Print Week’s site wrote: “Failure to consult employees is a schoolboy error and company directors should know better. This often can be an expensive error and one employment judges at tribunal come down hard on.”

Gareth Ward

Print Business reports on poor magazine sales

Writing for the trade publication Print Business Gareth ward said: “Covid-19 has accelerated declines in magazine circulations, according to ABC figures for the first six months of the year. Some publishers are hoping for a bounce back as lockdown restrictions end and consumers are able to buy publications from newsagents as part of their daily ritual, but others are less sure. The last few months have been marked by high profile closures on both sides of the Atlantic: for example Q in the UK and O, the Oprah Winfrey magazine in the US.

“Magazines across the board have lost readers, from television listing titles to women’s interest and lifestyle. The only exceptions are in food and gardening, perhaps a reflection of activities that have been possible during lockdown. BBC’s Gardeners’ World increased sales 8% to 221,422 copies and Garden Answers rose 7% to 50,888.”

Ian Carrotte said the Covid-19 crisis had simply accelerated the decline in circulations in sales because people couldn’t get to the shops as normal. “Coupled with a long term drop in sales due to the internet,” he added, “it is no surprise the industry has had more bad news.”



Dodgy print farmer of ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ is back ripping off clients


Runners and Riders
Below is a collated list taken from the Government’s London Gazette of various businesses who are experiencing problems in the last few weeks. Ones that catch the eye include The Red Group Print & Design in the print and publishing world, while in transport Market Hall Logistics have gone and in the travel industry the high profile name of Travelex has gained national headlines, plus in the Covid-19 hit care home industry Wadsworth Care Homes went under – who will be next?

Administrators Appointed
Aero Technics Design Limited  44055
Bagel Nash Limited  44054
B.D. (S/W) Limited  44048
Belem Developments Limited  44048
Byron Hamburgers Limited  44046
Country Pub Group Limited  44048
Cruden Construction Limited  44048
Cruden Group Limited  44048
Cruden Property Services Limited  44048
Drayton Manor Park (Catering) Limited  44048
Drayton Manor Park Hotels Limited  44048
Drayton Manor Park Limited  44048
Floating Festivals Limited  44067
Foodpac Limited  44061
Forest Inns (UK) Limited  44054
Hinterlands Venue Limited  44048
MPS Realisations Limited (Formerly Madley Property Services Limited)  44046
No 1 Currency Limited  44046
Northern Safety Supplies Limited  44068
Parkview Battersea Limited  44055
Regal Holiday Homes Limited  44055
RMG PPM Realisations Limited  44060
RMG Realisations Limited  44060
Thomas Exchange Global Limited  44046
TokenHouse VB Limited  44048
Travelex Financing PLC  44054
Travelex Group Investments Limited  44054
Travelex Holdings Limited  44054
Travelex Limited  44054
Travelex UK Limited  44054
Willow Inns (UK) Limited  44054
Woody Inns Limited  44054
Wrexham Wire Limited  44054

Administrators Meetings Para 51
P.J. Brown (Construction) Limited  44043
Travelex Banknotes Limited  44068

Compulsory Liquidators Appointed s 136
Windrush Cottages Limited  44048

Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation Deemed in Consent Meetings
Air2Energy Limited  44046
A.F. Collison Bill Posting Services Limited  44043
Analysis and Modelling Limited  44043
Barry Construction Limited  44043
CM IT Consultancy Limited  44048
CR Catering Ltd  44048
Construction Training Academy Limited  44060
David Ashworth Butchers Limited  44046
Davies Building Solutions Limited  44061
Exhibitions Plus Limited  44067
Glosol Limited  44046
Great White Events Limited  44054
Gun Dog Ales Limited  44043
Kindlow Limited  44046
Live in the UK Limited  44046
Optical Forming Limited  44046
M&J (the Gables) Limited  44043
Mast Display Limited  44060
New Space Constructions Ltd  44060
NKS Property Maintenance Ltd  44054
Pendle Ventures Clitheroe Limited  44046
Southborough Construction Limited  44046
Tailormade Fitted Furniture Limited 44048
The Brook Coffee Company Limited  44060
Top Table Hire Limited  44060

Liquidators Appointed
3 Frank Monkeys Limited  44048
All About Electricals Limited  44048
ABH Installations Limited  44046
Alfa Joinery Limited  44042
Atlas Wynd Ltd  44048
A.F. Collison Bill Posting Services  44060
Analysis and Modelling Limited  44060
BB CAD Designs Limited  44048
Bishop’s Move (Tunbridge Wells) Limited  44068
Bishop’s Move Distribution Services Limited  44068
Broadway Business Hub Limited  44042
BW McGregor Engineering Limited  44046
Centurion Construction (London) Limited  44061
Clayton’s Cards Limited  44042
Classic Home Improvements (Warrington) Limited  44046
Coffeesmiths (North) Limited  44042
Colour Cubed Limited  44067
Connect Drivers Limited  44042
Construction DDC Limited  44046
Commercial Solar Installer Limited  44060
Corinthian Masonry Limited  44046
Cove Construction (SW) Limited  44054
CPUK Commercial Limited  44054
Cue Design Limited  44048
Coffeesmiths (Independents) Limited  44043
DDM Fab Limited  44043
Deluxe Mobile Homes Limited  44043
De Build Limited  44054
Doublequick Limited  44048
DV Foods Limited  44054
David Ashworth Butchers Limited  44060
Denim T9 Limited  44060
Ela Trading Limited  44060
Euro-Connex Limited  44048
Ekult Group Limited  44046
Fashion Nation (UK) Limited  44068
Galtee Interiors Limited  44067
Gambaru Fitness Limited  44043
Gateway Logistic Services Limited  44060
G & B Logitstics Limited  44067
Grace Pippa Limited  44060
Gun Dog Ales Limited  44060
Island Trading Company limited (The)  44043
K & S Packing Limited  44048
Land Shuttle Limited  44054
Laser Metal Fabrication Limited  44048
Lewis Visuals Limited  44046
Ludgate Building And Construction Limited  44062
MAP Electrical Limited  44046
Market Hall Logistics Limited  44068
M.E.A. Publications Limited  44060
Nicholl Food Packaging Limited  44060
Network Coffee Limited  44054
Nirvana Hairdressing Company Limited  44046
N.T. Whitfield (Transport) Limited  44048
NQ Retail London Limited  44042
One Performance UK Limited  44043
Pear Communications Limited  44042
Paton’s (Shifnal) Limited T/A Patons of Shifnal  44048
Patshull Park UK Limited  44046
PHA (Northampton) Limited  44046
Pendle Ventures Clitheroe Ltd  44060
Pendle Ventures Grills Limited  44060
Porky’s Bakehouse Ltd  44060
Prestige Diamonds Limited  44060
Providence Print & Mailing Limited  44060
Quest MH Limited  44054
Riva Retail Limited  44046
RSJ Safety Limited  44048
Rochay Productions Limited  44043
Salop Motorsport Limited  44060
Secure Surroundings Limited  44048
Sky High Building Contractors Limited  44042
Streamline Nationwide Limited  44048
The Preservation Company (UK) Limited  44048
The Cog Research & Marketing Limited  44042
The Red Group Print & Design Limited  44067
UK Theatres Online Limited  44043
VRA Transport Limited  44043
Wholepress Limited  44048
Wonderland Soft Play Limited  44054
Woodlane Building Contractors Limited  44054

Members Voluntary Liquidations
Alan Chandler Marketing Limited  44055
Aim Digital Solutions Limited  44060
APB Construction UK Limited  44060
Blue Octal Limited  44048
BG Iran Limited  44054
BG IT Solutions Limited  44061
BG Karachaganak Trading Limited  44054
Brazil Shipping II Limited  44054
Connectors Cables Specialists (CCS UK) Limited  44054
C. Pike Limited  44048
Carlton Consulting Limited  44046
Comptel Communications Limited  44067
Controstar Media Limited  44061
Creative Broadcast Services Holdings (2) Limited  44043
Creative Broadcast Services Limited  44043
Clear Vista Media Limited  44043
Cloudspot Limited  44042
Deepx Limited  44048
DMU IT Consulting Limited  44055
EPDS Consultants Limited  44048
Grid Solutions Power Electronic Systems Limited  44043
H5 Enterprises Ltd  44046
Heathfield Reels Limited  44048
HO Media Solutions Limited  44055
Kevin Masters Creative Limited  44042
Lansdowne Freight Limited  44046
Lincolnshire Media Limited  44068
MG Office Lets Limited  44046
Macdonald’s (West Derby) Garage Limited  44046
Mchr Consulting Limited  44046
Monberg & Thorsen (UK) Limited  44048
Nathaniel Lloyd & Co. Limited  44048
Peter Page & Associates Limited  44046
Pharmchem International Limited  44046
Partner For Growth Limited  44048
Peter Taylor Consulting (Hertfordshire) Limited  44048
Price Waterhouse MCS UK Holding Company  44055
PricewaterhouseCoopers (Resources) Limited  44055
PwC Performance Solutions (No.2) Limited  44055
PwC Performance Solutions (No.3) Limited  44055
Progressive Quilting Co. Limited  44048
Putney Beach Limited  44046
S&V Limited  44046
Shell Thailand Manufacturing Limited  44054
Smartspike Solutions Ltd  44046
Sonoco Europe Limited  44048
Striking Lion Design Limited  44067
TPT Board Mills Limited  44048
Unit Reels and Drums Limited  44048
Web Planning Limited  44042
Wildsmith Communications Limited  44060
Yateley Country Park Limited  44046

Petitions to Wind Up
Amik Property International Ltd  44043
County Farm Asssit Limited  44048
Pro-Fit Building Services Limited  44043
MHD Builders Limited  44060
Sage Media National Limited  44067
Wadsworth Care Homes Limited  44043

Winding up orders
Absolute Construction (Norfolk) Limited  44068
Belgravia Construction (London) Limited  44042
TMAK Construction Limited  44060
Trust Media Limited  44048


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