Open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with a focus on food and drink firms, Azzurro has offered to buy unpaid invoices and help businesses clear growing debts.
With some smaller suppliers going unpaid in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the service could provide a lifeline for food firms that would have been forced to write off bad debts or take costly legal action to secure payment.
Unlike some other finance providers, Azzurro will provide cash for overdue and written-off invoices that businesses are struggling to collect. Firms with many smaller invoices can also combine their total cost to reach the £50,000 minimum, so long as the smallest invoice is at least £500.
Once Azzurro has recovered its purchase price for the overdue invoices, it will share an agreed percentage of all further recoveries with businesses – up to 50% of the value of the invoice, shared with the business on a monthly basis.
Azzurro has positioned its unpaid invoice buying service as an alternative to existing Government loans – such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan – for businesses that need cashflow faster than it takes to get this sort of funding off the ground.
Chief executive Andrew Birkwood said: “Faced with months of costly legal action to achieve payment of an invoice, most businesses simply accept bad debts and write them off. There is now a better option.
“We’re looking to provide a vital source of liquidity for British businesses. Generating immediate cash from bad debts could be the solution for many companies facing a coronavirus cashflow crunch.”
Interim small business commissioner Philip King voiced his support for the new initiative, a move he hoped would bring together the wider business community and help SMEs in this trying time.
“As the interim Small Business Commissioner, I’m doing everything I can to make payment prompt and to support small businesses generate the cash flow that is so critical,” he added. “At times like these, we need creative ideas and I’m delighted to see so many organisations like Azzurro introduce different and innovative solutions.”
Companies that wish to benefit from Azzurro’s new scheme can find more information on how to apply on its website.
Meanwhile, the impact of the coronavirus has prompted Danone to speed up payment to its suppliers via a new platform supplied by C2FO.