UTP Distribution has been awarded funding under the Department of Canadian Heritage's new COVID-response program, Support for Distributors. The funds are to be used to offset overdue payments from retailers to Canadian client publishers, and to provide a benefit to Canadian-owned retailers for their sales of Canadian-authored titles from Canadian-owned publishers.
UTP had been urging the DCH for a support program since April to address the cash-flow problems in the supply chain. Keeping with the principle of promoting cash-flow health, we will be using the funds to issue rebate credits to retailers for the timely payment of invoices. A rebate is essentially a discount on purchases, but it leaves those purchasing decisions up to the retailer.
An outline of the program is as follows:
- • Eligible retailers: Canadian-owned retailers. Such eligible retailers accounts must be “in good standing” to qualify for UTP rebates. Qualifying retailers include independent booksellers, college bookstores, gift stores, library wholesalers, and Indigo Books & Music.
- • Eligible titles: Canadian-authored books (as defined by the Canada Book Fund) published by Canadian-owned publishers.
- • Terms of the rebate: invoices that are paid within 60 days of the statement date will receive a 10% rebate in the form of a credit. For example, invoices issued from August 1, if paid by October 31, will qualify for a rebate. The amount of the credit will be net of eligible purchases and eligible returns. Credits may only be used to apply against future purchases.
- • Period of the program: the program will be effective for purchases made in August 2020 (due October 2020) and will continue through 2021 until the funds are exhausted. Rebate credits will be issued following each month-end.
- • Example: value of eligible sales invoice lines due from 60 days, $10,000; value of eligible returns credit note lines during same period, $2,000; credit issued, $800.
- • Please note that the program may change at UTP's discretion and is subject to audit by the DCH.
In the course of developing the program we received feedback from publishers, independent book retailers, and sales reps. The DCH has also indicated that it meets their expectations. Overall the response has been very positive and we are confident that this will contribute to stability for both publishers and retailers.