The Office of the Small Business Commissioner has helped small businesses to recover £7.4 million in late payments from larger companies.
As of November 2020, £23.4 billion was owed to small and medium-sized businesses. With this in mind, the government is considering strengthening the SBC’s powers.
On the table. The proposals are that the SBC would gain powers to activate enforcement mechanisms, such as court orders and financial penalties, against those businesses which don’t comply with information requests and/or are found to have poor or unfair payment practices towards small businesses, e.g. ignoring agreed payment terms.
The government wishes to know if the SBC should be given the power to:
Investigate specific instances of unfair practices or poor payment terms at its own initiative or following a complaint from a third party; and
Carry out a review on the effect of relevant legislation, policies and pay practices on small businesses.
The SBC wants to hear from you about your experiences of late payments and whether you feel the powers above should be granted. You can submit your views to the SBC online. They must be received by 24 December 2020.