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Government to appoint Small Business commissioner to tackle late payments

Wednesday 15th February, 2017

The government is set to recruit the first Small Business Commissioner to help small businesses resolve payment disputes with their larger customers.

As a national champion for small businesses the high profile role will provide general advice and information, handle complaints about payment issues and direct small businesses to existing dispute resolution services.

Small Business Minister Margot James said, "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. This is why we are looking for an exceptional individual to help smaller firms resolve payment disputes and champion a culture change in how businesses work together."

Mike Cherry, National Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said, “Small firms need a Commissioner who will make a meaningful difference to the £26bn currently stuck in bank accounts as payments outstanding to SMEs. He or she must be given the powers and resources to tackle this, to step in to save small firms whose livelihoods are under threat, and to promote a prompt payment culture right across the economy.”

Regulations coming into force in April 2017 will require big businesses to publically report on the time taken to pay their suppliers.

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