Pre-insolvency advice RETAIL BUSINESS OWNERS – Coronavirus Retail Debt Exposure Help

With the global pandemic of Coronavirus / COVID-19 hitting all businesses across the world, we have experienced a rise in brick & mortar retailers contacting us. Whilst there's limited support coming from the government, we are finding that retailers having stores closed, staff furloughed and bills still mounting, are facing increasing debt risk. The team at Bell & Company help retail and shop owners across the United Kingdom and Ireland, who find themselves in increasing financial difficulty for one reason or another.

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RETAIL BUSINESS OWNERS – Coronavirus Retail Debt Exposure Help

Whilst UK businesses wrestle with the uncertainty of the economic future Coronavirus has destined us to, Government schemes are yet to showcase how it can help SME’s, especially in the retail sector. The issues of Full Repairing and Insuring (FRI) property leases come to the forefront along with other Coronavirus retail debt concerns.

Rent is typically payable quarterly in advance, leaving struggling retailers with tough decisions to make as to whether the company can continue trading after lockdown, and/or if it will ever recover. Either way, these rents are due and owed due to the clauses in leases.

    • Full Repairing and Insuring (FRI) property leases are not fit for purpose and as such is now affecting all businesses including retail.
    • Company Voluntary Arrangements are deemed to be an event of insolvency and most leases give the landlord the opportunity of ‘triggering’ any demand on the tenant and/or Personal Guarantee in the event of any form of Insolvency.

If your retail store is struggling and the shop’s property lease is in a personal name or is supported by Personal Guarantees, then it is vital to engage and seek advice.

Our team has a real depth of legal and financial experience in dealing with business debt, cashflow and personal guarantee issues so we can mediate effectively with your creditors with the aim to reach the best possible outcome for you.

We hear regularly of issues with Full Repairing and Insuring (FRI) property leases. They are ‘old fashioned’ in today’s retail world and usually very onerous. FRI leases are burdensome and not fit for purpose in today’s world tenancy agreements. Most retail tenancies are based on this form of lease.

Coupled with the backdrop of Coronavirus creates a ‘perfect storm’ for property leaseholders of retail shops.

Check out our recent webinar on Coronavirus Retail Debt, SME Business Debt & Personal Guarantees for some answers on frequently asked questions.

We don’t aim to capitalise on the current Coronavirus crisis but we are seeing growth in enquiries from retail & shop owners.

The UK & Irish governments have released funding and loans for retailers to avoid business closure and loss of jobs during the Coronavirus crisis. Whilst this help is welcome the reality is financial help such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), furloughing employees and even the deferment of tax & VAT will one day have to be paid back. And that means pressure on retailers and cashflow further down the line.

Banks have also created loan schemes, prompted by government, such as the future fund and bounce-back loans to help retailers through the coronavirus crisis. But as with every loan, there will be risk involved and the potential to overstretch is there – especially if personal guarantee exposure is a feature of your overall business set-up.

As independent debt advisors we realise that coronavirus is a unique event that was unforeseen when you set up your shop or store. That said, loans and business help follow a familiar pattern and we have identified pressure points in the retail industry that could leave the owners of these businesses under severe financial stress.

Some of the financial pressures will be immediate. But most will occur later in the year and the pressure of snow-balling into heavy debt leading to personal asset exposure for many. Inevitably, personal finances and assets will be under extreme pressure and SME owners, even those seeking self-employment and small limited company help need to understand the help and advice will change the longer this crisis goes on.

All business owners across the United Kingdom & Ireland now face the prospect of losing everything they worked hard for because of the Coronavirus pandemic. We understand this is a worrying and uncertain time for you, that’s why we’re here to alleviate your financial issues. Our expert team will provide you with the best advice on Coronavirus business debt help and guidance on how you can manage issues such as Cash Flow, HMRC Debts, FRI Leases and debt with trade creditors.

‘As we always say, know the worst and then achieve the best from there’

If you face this type of issue talk to us now and call today for a free consultation.

Alternatively, submit the request a callback form and one of our advisors will be in contact as soon as possible.

Tick iconYou can trust Bell & Company

1. We will see every personal guarantee case through until the end,
2. We are experienced in negotiating with creditors,
3. We have helped many retail stores with FRI Leases and attached personal guarantees,
4. We are transparent from the start with our costs, your first consultation is free

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Free Initial Case Review

From the outset, we establish clear bottom lines with our clients, so we understand what their priorities are and what must be protected. We then create a strategy to navigate the way out of corporate and personal debt with impartial advice and rigorous action.

Specialist, Impartial Advice

There are some very sharp minds at Bell & Company, so we’re extremely adept at finding unconventional strategies and solutions to resolve our clients’ debt dilemmas. This means that when you’re with us, you can be assured that we’re working for your best possible outcome.

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