Institute of Credit Management to advise small businesses.

Small businesses are being urged to look at fresh guidance on the benefits of trade credit insurance as more and more companies fold.

Firms are being told they can turn to updated sections of the government-backed Business Link website for advice.

They will also shortly receive leaflets with guidance on credit management and trade credit insurance.

Suppliers are usually paid a month after handing over goods, but many use trade credit insurance to cover against the buyer becoming insolvent or delaying payment.

The Institute of Credit Management (ICM) has been advising the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) on the fresh guidance. A range of professional membership and trade bodies will help to get across the message.

An ICM spokesman said: “There is no doubt it is difficult times for business all around. We are here to give them a few top tips to consider credit insurance to manage their cashflow.”

Biba has been stressing the importance of trade credit insurance as it fears firms may cut costs during a recession.

The Federation of Small Business estimates that about 280 small businesses close every week.

A BERR spokeswoman said: “The government is determined to do all that it can to support businesses through this difficult time.

“One of the ways to do this is to offer free ‘health checks’ through Business Link.”

He said the website already provided guidance on a number of issues, including on how best to manage insurance.

“But we are also working with the ICM to develop guidance relating to credit insurance.”

For the updated guidance, go to