The Government is about to appoint the UK’s first Small Business Commissioner in a move aimed at supporting small businesses in payment disputes with their larger customers.
The role includes giving general advice and information, handling complaints about payment issues and directing small businesses to existing dispute resolution services.
Small Business Minister, Margot James, comments: “We all rely on the UK’s 5.5 million small and medium-sized businesses for jobs, goods and services, and an unfair payment culture that hurts these firms has no place in an economy that works for all.
“Addressing the barriers businesses face when scaling up and growing is an important part of a modern Industrial Strategy, and this appointment will play an integral role in ensuring small businesses have the support they need to thrive and grow.”
Recent findings from the payment processor Bacs indicate that nearly half of the UK’s small-to-medium sized businesses experience late payment, with around £26.3 billion owed to them in total.
Regulations coming into force in April 2017 will require big businesses to publicly report on the time taken to pay their suppliers.