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Terry Turner’s business was sitting on a £400,000 cash pile when Britain locked down in March 2020, so as the country plunged into its deepest recession in 100 years he felt that Priority Newstrade & Mailing would be able to carry on trading through the downturn.

Yet despite Turner’s prudence, his company — which wrapped magazines in polythene and distributed them through the post — ran out of cash at the end of last year. Turner, 78, who has led three firms in his long career, realised that his business model was no longer viable: publishers had started to prefer paper wrapping, while consumers read more online.

He decided to reimburse his creditors and make payments to his 45 staff, before shutting the doors for