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Creative industries waiting on £1b in late payments

Tuesday 12th March, 2019

According to research by online invoice finance platform MarketInvoice 48% of businesses in the creative industries were paid late in 2018.

Businesses that make up the creative industry are typically smaller companies (usually agencies and consultancies) that provide services to a range of sectors from TV and film to design and publishing.

The research found in 2018 a typical invoice worth £38,137 was being settled 13 days beyond payment terms leaving this vulnerable industry £1.1b out of pocket at any given time.

Larger companies were more likely (51%) to pay the creative industries later than smaller businesses (41%). Whilst some companies settle their invoices on time, one in seven (14%) take more than 14 days beyond agreed terms to pay.

The number of invoices settled beyond 14 days of agreed terms has reduced between 2014 (23%) and 2018 (14%) but year-on-year changes in percentage of invoices paid late has significantly fluctuated.

MarketInvoice have partnered with investors Creative England, publishers The Drum as well as trade and policy bodies the Creative Industries Federation and the British Interactive Media Association to support companies in the creative industries sector.

Caroline Norbury MBE, Chief Executive of Creative England, commented: “As a specialist creative industries investor, we work with creative businesses across the country every day. We know that lengthy payment delays can cause talented, profitable businesses to fold. Small, ambitious creative businesses make big upfront investments to deliver major projects for clients but often don’t have the financial reserves to cover long cash flow gaps. That’s a waste of talent and lost GVA for UK plc. MarketInvoice provides a valuable short-term finance option to help businesses survive and thrive, in this increasingly important economic sector.”