Changes in pandemic business support measures leave businesses at risk

Steve Parry

Business owners in Shropshire struggling through pandemic and ‘pingdemic’ pressures may be caught out by the withdrawal of a key support measure this summer, a corporate finance expert warned today.

Temporary insolvency measures introduced during the crisis to help businesses survive included a suspension of wrongful trading rules.

But Steve Parry, director of Q Commercial Finance, said the temporary measure which removed the threat of personal liability for wrongful trading from directors finished on June 30.

“There is no doubt that many business owners in the last year have been only just keeping their heads above the water. The temporary insolvency measures, coupled with government-back loans, will certainly have keep many of those businesses from going under.

“The issue now is that temporary measures have been removed, Bounce Back loans and those via the British Business Bank are also needing to be repaid and businesses now also need to start contributing to furlough costs.

“This triple whammy could hit already-suffering businesses really hard and we would urge owners and directors to look closely at their finances now or risk being caught out in the coming months.”

In the last year, Q Commercial, part of the Q Financial Services group, which has offices in Shrewsbury and Telford, has supported more than 100 businesses to refinance their operations, with many just now beginning to see signs of recovery.

Steve added: “The issue for many businesses is that often they think their bank is the only option and as we know, banks currently are reluctant to lend. But thanks to our track record in arranging finance, whether for re-mortgaging, capital projects or company vehicle purchases, we are able access finance from a much wider variety of lenders.

“It is really important that businesses owners know the options which are available to them so that we don’t see closures and ultimately job losses. As a county, Shropshire has always been resilient, and we want to make sure that economic recovery post-pandemic includes the survival of businesses which have been devastated through no fault of their own.”

Q Financial Services, which is co-owned by former Wolves and Shrewsbury Town midfielder Dave Edwards, has seen significant growth in recent years thanks to an expansion of the company’s offer to include wealth management, estate planning and the arrangement of residential as well as commercial mortgages.

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