Gov launches Small Business Commissioner to help resolve payment disputes

Credit: Baramee Thaweesombat

The Government has launched the complaint handling service of the Small Business Commissioner to ensure fair payment practices for small businesses.

This follows the appointment of Paul Uppal to the role of Small Business Commissioner back in October.

Regulations made by Small Business Minister Margot James mean the Commissioner can now handle complaints from small businesses about unfair payment practices.

The Commissioner’s website is also live, providing guidance to small businesses on payment issues including how to take action if a payment is overdue.

“This Government’s Industrial Strategy is building a Britain in which small business can continue to thrive,” she said.

“Over the last five 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.”

Mr Uppal added: “My mission is to help all small businesses nurture positive and lasting relationships with their customers that work in the best interests of both.

“Today 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.”

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The UK is gripped by a poor payments crisis, over 30 per cent of payments to small businesses are late and the average value of each payment is £6,142. This not only impacts on the small business and the owner, it is damaging the wider economy.

“The Small Business Commissioner is crucial to turning the tide on this late payments culture. FSB will be encouraging small businesses affected to use the service, and we hope then to see clear actions taken to tackle the worst examples of supply chain bullying. Success will be a UK economic culture where a business that does a job promptly, is paid promptly.”