After a trip to The City Of London last week it became clear that as yet it has far from returned to normal.
Although the usual hotspots are busy such as the main attractions with large queues for the Shard and The London Eye as well as many more the commercial districts are very quiet. Walking around the centre , if you hadn’t known about lockdown and social distancing you would be unaware that the World was still in a state of turmoil.
However, when you dig a little deeper it is evident that there is an underlying problem particularly in the office community and the commercial property sector.
Speaking to the manager of a very well-known chain of public houses who is based in the middle of the City he was telling us how trade had picked up very slowly and they had to open weekends despite there being no trade and whilst we there it was sad to see that there was only one other table occupied.
So what is the future for our commercial districts such as The City or Spinningfields in Manchester? Well, that will depend on how businesses organise themselves. Even in some of the larger companies are saying that there will probably never be 100% occupancy in their offices at anyone time.
We are also finding now that some tenants are unwilling or simply unable to pay for the office space they haven’t been able to occupy. However, landlords have still had to pay their expenses.
Furthermore, the registered offices could be these locations too which can hamper the collection of monies outstanding. This is where debt recovery specialists just like ourselves use their expertise to locate companies who try to go under the radar. It is interesting to see so many businesses who do not have their location on their web sites and are difficult to pin to a location.
We know some businesses will say they don’t want to be seen as a Manchester or Leeds company as they can offer their services either nationally or internationally but from a debt recovery point of view this means you need to be sure that you have all their correct details and as many points of contact as possible.
We would also recommend that when carrying out credit management it is worth confirming contact details whilst speaking to the client. We have all been in the situation speaking to a large company and they will check which telephone number you wish to be contacted on. You are not doing anything unusual, it just means you will be confirming how they prefer to be contacted.
To summarise, as we embark on this new journey, contact details are essential but can be found by the experts. Flexible working will be the way forward but that does not mean flexible payment terms!