Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) across the country are suffering acutely as a result of late payment, with many firms’ survival being put at risk by cash flow problems, and total outstanding funds owed amounting to 36.4 billion.
I launched the Be Fair – Pay on Time campaign in June 2011 after being contacted by a number of constituents who had small businesses that were suffering from late payments. The campaign has included a Westminster Hall debate in 2011, a Backbench Business debate in 2012 and I have also contacted the 75 FTSE companies who hadn’t signed the Prompt Payment Code in July 2012 asking them to do so. To date, the number of signatories from the FTSE 100 has more than doubled.
The next stage of the campaign is an evidence session on late payments to SMEs, which will take place in front of a cross-party group of interested MPs in Parliament on Tuesday 23rd April 2013, comprising of four panels:-
- Independent commentators/academics
- Representative Organisations for Small Businesses
- FTSE 100 Companies
I am currently collecting written submissions from a wide range of people and organisations interested in this issue. If you would like to contribute, please e-mail a submission of no more than 750 words to firstname.lastname@example.org with LATE PAYMENTS in the subject line by Wednesday 10th April 2013. I am particularly interested in:-
- Your experience of dealing with late payments;
- Evidence on the scale of the late payments in the UK;
- The impact of late payments on SMEs and the wider economy;
- The effectiveness of your current payments system and the Prompt Payment Code;
- Recommendations you would make to address late payments.
Thanks in advance for your contribution.