Banks shy away from tree conference tackling credit crunch

Tree contractors are to be told how to tough out the recession and survive the collapsing housing market by an expert who wants to embarrass banks into action.

The conference - Survival of the Fittest - How to Succeed in a Recession -  aims to help arborists and other tree experts stave off the worst effects of the "impending recession", said organiser and arb consultant Ken Linford.

"The massive downturn in the housing market has stopped site work and reduced the level of commercial enquiries to a trickle," he said.

"This has left many firms searching the domestic and utility markets for work. But it is an overcrowded market and margins will suffer."

The Arboricultural Association, Lancashire County Council and business people around Preston will speak at the evening seminar on 10 November.

Local property millionaire Tim Knowles will outline his view of the market, while accountant David Lucas will suggest a checklist of things to look out for.

Paul Bullimore, county forestry officer, will detail capital plant grants available to small firms. Linford said local banks were cagy when asked to take part in a forum. 

"One sent us to the head office, which directed us back to the branch. Another put us in touch with a lady in Calcutta who also pointed us back to the local branch.

"They just don't want to know. Evidence is mounting of contractors' overdrafts being cut, arrangement fees being hiked and interest rates shooting up.

"The banks should be embarrassed into taking action, especially after trying to ram loans down people's throats only six months ago."

Survival of the Fittest - How to Succeed in a Recession is at 6pm on Monday 10 November in Chorley.

Contact Linford on 07831 840123.

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