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By October 13, 2020 Read More →

AGENDA WEST Business News: Jewish newspaper wound up; Scottish ‘eco’ printer liquidated; and 2021 trade shows haemorrhage exhibitors as doubts grow over their viability next year as virus spreads

The relaunched Jewish Chronicle

The number of liquidations in the printing and allied industries are increasing as the end of furlough approaches. Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said there was a raft of businesses in all sectors of the economy that were struggling before Covid-19 then held on hoping furlough would see them through to the autumn in the belief the crisis would be over.

“Unfortunately businesses cannot operate if they are denied their customers,” he said, “and we are seeing the end for many who are perishing due to the recession created by the Government’s policies in fighting the virus.”

Back in the day: The Jewish Chronicle on sale in the golden age of newspapers

Last rites for Jewish paper

The Jewish Chronicle is dead – long live the Jewish Chronicle – is perhaps the line some may take when reviewing this year in the life on the weekly newspaper that was first printed in 1841.

Earlier this year the publishers attempted to keep the paper afloat with a mooted merger with the equally ailing Jewish News in April as the lockdown took effect on sales. The union didn’t happen and The Jewish Chronicle was wound up. However a consortium was put together to buy the title from the administrators along with some of the publications assets. The reborn title is published every Friday and has an extensive news website. The original title is the subject of a video or virtual creditors’ meeting on October 22 when the insolvency practitioners Stephen Katz and Michael Ginty will give details of the defunct company.

Two years ago it was reported the newspaper made a £1.5m loss while last year it was revealed it also had a black hole in its pension fund and a private consortium called the Kessler Foundation who owed it had run out of cash. So there has been a collective sigh of relief when this spring a new group of individuals got together to buy the title from the administrators. They included a number of political insiders, broadcasters and bankers although creditors of the defunct title must be wondering whether they will see any money later this month.

Big Sky falls in

The Scottish print outfit Big Sky Print Limited is to be wound up following a petition presented at Elgin Sheriff Court on October 1, 2020.

Based in Forres in Morayshire the company had attempted to reopen in August after being forced to cease production due to the Covid-19 crisis. The company’s boss Howard Anstruther said: “It’s with deep regret and a heavy heart that I have to inform you that Big Sky has closed its doors for the last time. Due to the long ‘Lockdown’ and then coming back in August that fielded us scraps. Our prospects future sales were pretty grim, with clients cancelling print projects here, there and everywhere. The decision was gut wrenching but practicality had to be at the fore.”

There was considerable sympathy for the firm expressed by loyal fans and customers on social media with one person writing: “This was a horrible decision you were forced to make, but you should be so proud of what you’ve built over all these years. I know I am incredibly proud of you.”

Big Sky Print described itself as a leading environmentally conscious company, who In 1990 they achieved ISO 14001:2004 certification as well as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) certified C020891 while in 2012 they won the Carbon Reduction Award at the Glasgow Science Centre.

Doubts over 2021 trade shows

Trade shows have seen a collapse in their fortunes this year with the only takers for major venues like the NEC being the emergency overflow Nightingale Hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients for the NHS.

“The trade body the Events Industry Alliance have predicted 30,000 job losses and an £8bn hit to the economy,” said Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit, “and we’ve seen more than 100 trade shows canned this year as exhibitors and attendees take flight. It is possible to stage Covid-19 safe show but if punters don’t show up and exhibitors are struggling financially it’s a no show.”

The Print Show at the NEC has been put back 12 months, while Gareth Ward for the trade publication Print Business has noted that one of the largest trade shows for the industry has been rocked by exhibitors taking flight for next year’s show.

He said: “Drupa retains the support of a string spread of the industry, but the loss of three more digital press providers will continue speculation about next year’s show. With less than 190 days until Drupa is due to open its doors in Düsseldorf, the exhibition suffered the loss of three Japanese exhibitors last week. Ricoh, followed by Canon and then Konica Minolta, withdrew from the event, all explaining that the need to ensure the safety of their staff and customers, was prime. These follow hard on the heels of Fujifilm, HP and the earlier declared absence of Kodak and Xerox, meaning that the digital printing cupboard is looking increasingly bare.”

Ian Carrotte said: “It’s not just the fear factor but also the Covid-19 rules imposed by Governments, not only here, but in Germany as well. Those rules simply torpedo any plans exhibition organisers make and although Fespa is still officially on in March the Spanish authorities could sink it if they deem public health trumps business. Clearly there are doubts over the viability of all trade shows in 2021 – which is a disaster.”

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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