The Forum has been fighting for small businesses on the issue of late payment for years, it was a campaign issue for the Forum of Private Business when it was formed in 1977 and it remains high on our agenda to this day.
The Forum feels that the margins being made by many small businesses have reduced in recent years, driven by increased costs, many beyond their control, the living wage, currency fluctuations, pension provision, late payment, large customers driving down margins, less financial support in terms of short-term small loans and the increased cost of regulation and compliance. This means that many small businesses no longer have a big enough cash shock absorber to deal with cash flow problems caused by late payment which lead to cost-cutting, less investment, unemployment, stress, and other mental issues and in the end can lead to business failure.
That is why we at the Forum have been fighting for small businesses on this issue for years, we want to champion your cause if you are on the wrong side of late payment. At the heart of our late payment campaign are small business owners like yourself, so please contact us so that we can help you and everyone in your business network too.
Listed below are some actions that the Forum feel need to be taken on if we are going to address the issue of late payment:
Make 30-day payment terms a legal requirement, consumers must meet the 30-day requirement on credit cards or utilities so unless the agreed contract states otherwise 30 days should be the norm.
Give the Small Business Commissioner the resources to research payment issues and create a trusted annual payment survey, that suppliers will engage with so he can target his support to those late payers who need it.
Give the Small Business Commissioner the power to penalise persistent late payers.
Provide better training and education for small business on invoicing and payment issues, so they get their processes and procedures up to standard.
Allow all invoices to be reassigned to allow for the use of invoice finance while preventing companies from offering fast payment terms to suppliers which are in effect bank loans that may need repaying as in the Carillion case.
Remove retainers from the construction industry or at least ensure they are paid in full.
At the heart of our late payment campaign are small business owners like yourself, and we want to champion your cause if you are on the wrong side of late payment. So please contact us so that we can help you.
Talk to us!
Tell us about poor payment practices which impact you as a member.
Also, tell us about excellent payment practices which impact you as a member.
We will investigate, research and write to the late payer.
As a result of this investigation, we will create a case and at its conclusion let you know the result.
We will share results with the press, media, and government as appropriate.