Finance

South West businesses warned to prepare for end of furlough scheme

An insolvency expert is urging South West business bosses to make use of the final month of the Government’s furlough scheme to plan for the future.

Philip Winterborne, who is chair of insolvency and restructuring trade body R3 in South West, is calling on the region’s company directors to use September to review their businesses and seek advice about the options open to them to address any impending financial issues they may be facing.

Mr Winterborne, who is a partner at Temple Bright Solicitors in Bristol, said: “Directors have another 30 days where the Government will effectively underwrite a large percentage of their wage bill, and they need to use this time to identify any financial issues their business may face and explore their options for resolving them.

“It’s very hard to admit your business is struggling. But starting the conversation as early as possible will mean you have more potential solutions open to you, and more time to make a decision about how you move forward.

“The most critical thing South West company directors need to be aware of are signs their business is in distress, and not to ignore them if they present themselves.

“Signs of business distress include problems paying wages, issues paying suppliers on time, or other problems with cash flow. The directors of any South West firm experiencing any of these should seek advice from a qualified source about how to resolve the situation.”

Solutions for these kinds of problems can often be as simple as refinancing or consolidating the company’s debt. But it is critical that these options are explored before the issue spirals into something much more serious.

R3 has developed a free guide for company directors, which explains the common signs of business distress and the full range of restructuring and insolvency options that are available to businesses that are experiencing it.

Mr Winterborne said: “We developed this guide to give South West company directors all the information they need to identify the signs of business distress and so they can seek appropriate and timely advice to understand the options that are open to address them.

“The pandemic has disrupted trading for nearly a year and a half and forced around 1.6million businesses to borrow more than £79bn from the Government – and at the peak of the pandemic, furlough nearly nine million staff. These are far from normal times.

“We know there are many directors who are worried about the future and unsure what to do if their business is struggling.

“We hope they will use this guide to get a clearer understanding of the warning signs, what they can do to turn it around, and where they can get the help they need to do it.”

Business Live’s South West Business Reporter is William Telford. William has more than a decade’s experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. He is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.

To contact William: Email: [email protected] – Phone: 01752 293116 – Mob: 07584 594052 – Twitter: @WTelfordHerald – LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com – Facebook: www.facebook.com/william.telford.5473

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Latest figures from HM Treasury published at the end of July showed that 1.9million people remained on furlough. The furlough scheme is due to end on September 30, 2021. To download a copy of R3’s guide, visit www.backtobusinessuk.com

R3 is the trade association for the UK’s insolvency, restructuring, advisory, and turnaround professionals. It represents insolvency practitioners, lawyers, turnaround and restructuring experts, students, and others in the profession. Members are qualified, regulated and work across the spectrum of the profession, from the global legal and accountancy firms through to smaller practices.. R3 stands for ‘Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal’ and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.


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