A Farnborough company specialising in the installation of equipment for the elderly and disabled has gone into liquidation and closed down after more than 20 years.
Disabled Supplies Limited (DSL) Installations, in Invincible Road, ceased trading earlier this month.
The family-run business, which began operating in 1993, offered a range of home adaptation services, including installing walk-in baths, stair lifts, specialised kitchen appliances and automatic doors and windows.
The company employed 25 local people, who have all been made redundant, and a second branch in Sittingbourne, Kent, has also closed.
A spokesman for Valentine and Co, the receivers dealing with the closure, said: “It is regrettable that steps have been taken to place Disabled Supplies Limited into liquidation.
“The company had forged an excellent reputation for undertaking home conversions for disabled people.
“Unfortunately, along with many small companies in the building, maintenance and construction industries, the company suffered from often late and poor paying customers.
“Those customers were often much larger organisations and it is not unusual to see such larger businesses appear to take advantage of smaller companies. I have seen cases where larger organisations pay late, make reduced payments and then seek to impose penalties for items such as delayed work completion, when it is they who have starved their sub-contractor of the funds to adequately pay staff to undertake work and caused the difficulty in any event.”
He added: “Sadly, the UK system fails small businesses when they seek to be properly paid and the court system seems to provide a too costly, too lengthy and too cumbersome a means of resolution.
“In this case, it appears that the company was continually promised payments which failed to materialise.”
Angie Emery, finance director at DSL Installations, said: “It is so sad and distressing for all our loyal staff.”
DSL held a number of charity fundraising events while they were operating, including a sponsored skydive last June, which raised more than £230 for Help for Heroes, and the company celebrated their 20th anniversary last year.
DSL also made a television appearance in March 2012 on the Channel 5 programme Big Body Squad, after staff installed a new bathroom for a woman from Woking who was struggling to get in and out of her bath.
A former employee of the business, who did not want to be named, left the company prior to it going into liquidation.
He said: “I found out through a couple of former work colleagues.
“Apparently everyone turned up for work as normal and found the receivers were already there when they got in.”