Posted: Sun 15th Mar 2020
The Small Business Commissioner, Philip King, is calling on the UK's big businesses to speed up payments to their small business suppliers wherever they can.
The Commissioner has appealed to those in charge of supplier payroll to urgently consider accelerating invoice payments to the small business community.
The call has united all of the UK's business groups in the wake of the disruption caused by the coronavirus. It is backed by the British Chambers of Commerce, Enterprise Nation, Federation of Small Businesses, Institute of Directors, IPSE, ICAEW, and The Entrepreneurs Network.
"For small businesses, cashflow is the difference between survival and failure. Coronavirus has put unprecedented pressure on the UK's SMEs," said Philip. "When the cash runs out, businesses collapse.
"We want to urge all businesses to accelerate payments to small suppliers wherever they can. If the invoice is approved and ready for a future payment run, pay it now - rather than wait - and get money into the supplier's account.
"It may not have occurred to accounts departments to think in this way. But this simple solution is a powerful gesture complementing the support from government and banks. It will also have a more immediate impact and may remove the need to make loan arrangements that will inevitably take effort and time spent outside the core business - and then time to come through.
"We'd like to see large firms act on this message and pay small suppliers now."
Small Business Minister Paul Scully added: "The government is doing everything we can to support businesses through this turbulent time, from offering £2.2bn in grants and a refund for Statutory Sick Pay to our smallest firms. But it is vital that businesses also support one another and I would encourage them to heed this call and speed up payments wherever possible."
If you are suffering with late payment issues, contact the Office of the Small Business Commissioner. The office was established in 2017 to empower small businesses to resolve payment disputes with larger businesses.
Read more about the government support available to help small businesses cope with coronavirus.