Tax & admin · 26 July 2015

Government announces small business commissioner for late payment problem

Small businesses are owed 26bn in late payments
Small businesses are owed 26bn in late payments
The Conservatives haveconfirmedthe introduction of a new small business commissioner to help prompt a culture change regarding how small business disputes with larger companies are resolved.

The person given the role will help small businesses handle disputes over late payment and other supply chain practices that hit them particularly hard. The commissioner will also help smaller firms access advice, support, mediation and conciliation services in order to develop awareness and knowledge about their capabilities. They will also have the power to look into complaints and report on its findings.

The Conservatives said not only would this deliver on apledge to deliver a small business conciliation services, but also went further in an effort to tackle the unacceptable payment practices that hit small firms.

Small business minister Anna Soubry said: The government is backing small businesses to grow and create more jobs and opportunity.

She pointed out that these firms are owed 26bn in late payments and spend millions more chasing down money already earned through hard work.

The current state was ‘simply unacceptable it limits their growth and productivity and can put an otherwise successful business at risk, Soubry explained.

Anna Soubry speaking at the launch of Small Business Saturday 2015
Anna Soubry speaking at the launch of Small Business Saturday 2015
the small business commissioner will tackle the imbalance of bargaining power between small suppliers and large customers, and encourage them to get round the table and sort out disputes at a fraction of the cost going to court, she added.

it will also provide advice, investigate complaints and see where further action is needed to clamp down on unfair practices.

The government said this would be just one of several new measures introduced to address the issue of late payment. An FSB survey of members in 2014 found that 51 per cent had experienced late payment within the previous 12 months.



Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.