Small Business Commissioner’s plea to big businesses

At a time when all businesses are facing increased pressure on cash flow, the Small Business Commissioner’s appeal to big businesses in the UK is welcomed by the small business community.

The Small Business Commissioner (SBC) has written to a number of big businesses who are displaying the worst payment practices during the current pandemic. Having communicated to their suppliers that payments were going to be delayed or completely stopped, the SBC urged them to prioritise their small suppliers.

Small Business Commissioner, Philip King, wrote:

This is a time for collaborating with business partners rather than confronting them. Tough decisions will of course, need to be made but they should be in a spirit of communication and cooperation. A delayed payment to a small or micro business will help ease the pressure on your cash flow but for the business owner not receiving a relatively small payment, it may be the difference between putting food on the table or not. It can also have a huge impact on well-being and mental health. I ask you to consider the human impact of your actions rather than seeing them simply as transactions.

My plea to you as a business leader is to prioritise your small suppliers and pay them as normal but, at the very least, I urge you to ensure individual conversations take place with them, so the impact of your actions is fully understood. Decisions taken in that spirit will allow for exceptions to be made and the worst consequences to be avoided.”

Philip King also wrote to big businesses who had shown true leadership by paying their small suppliers early or, in some cases, immediately, to thank them on behalf of small businesses across the UK.

Director of My Debt Recovery, Sean Husband commented:

“We welcome this appeal by the Small Business Commissioner to those large businesses displaying poor payment practices. Even before the pandemic, we saw this type of negative behaviour from big businesses. It is now even more critical that they are supporting small businesses by settling invoices either early or at least on time. The value of these invoices are pocket change to these big businesses but to a small business, it could be the difference between continuing to trade and shutting up shop.”

If you need any assistance in chasing overdue invoices, please do not delay in getting in contact with us.

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