Small Business Commissioner launched to help resolve payment disputes

(2 minutes to read)

The government claims that the new Small Business Commissioner will drive a culture change in payment practises to ensure small businesses are treated fairly.

A complaint handling service of the Small Business Commissioner has been launched to ensure fair payment practices for small businesses across the UK.

A topic that has long been an issue for smaller sized businesses, the government has now created a new system whereby the new Small Business Commissioner will support Britain’s 5.7 million SMEs to resolve payment disputes and tackle unfair payment practices from larger firms.

The new guidance website is now live, providing help on what action to take with regards to overdue payments.

Margot James, Small Business Minister, said, “This government’s Industrial Strategy is building a Britain in which small business can continue to thrive”.

“Over the last 5 years the amount owed to smaller businesses has more than halved from £30 billion to £14 billion. Today’s Small Business Commissioner service will empower small businesses to take action if they are paid late, potentially delivering a £2.5 billion annual boost to the economy”.

Paul Uppal, Small Business Commissioner, added, “Having run my own small business for over 20 years I am well aware that integrity and trust are key to running and building a successful business. My mission is to help all small businesses nurture positive and lasting relationships with their customers that work in the best interests of both”.

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“I am launching a new website so small businesses know their rights, as well as how to contact me if they need further action to be taken when the larger businesses they supply owe them money”.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) welcome this new service.

Jordan Marshall, IPSE’s Policy Development Manager, commented, “For too long, late payment culture has been a blight on the self-employed. This is therefore definitely a big step in the right direction. IPSE has long called for the creation of a Small Business Commissioner to champion the rights of the UK’s smallest businesses – our 4.85 million self-employed. It is excellent to see this becoming a reality with the introduction of the complaint handling service, as well as the new website with its guidance on rights and payment issues”.

“The important thing to remember is that the hard work is not over. More must now be done to promote the work of the Small Business Commissioner and raise awareness about the website and the complaints handling service throughout the UK’s self-employed community”.

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