Small Business Commissioner visits Wales to meet with business groups and to call for action to stop poor payment practices

The UK’s Small Business Commissioner yesterday attended a jointly hosted event by ACCA, Cardiff Business School, FSB, Chambers Wales, and CBI, to discuss the payment hurdles facing small businesses in Wales.

The latest data from FSB suggests slow and unfair payment practices are threatening the future of almost half a million UK small businesses. A study commissioned by Good Business Pays and carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), estimates that if small businesses’ invoices were paid on the day they were submitted, their revenues would increase by £40bn to £60bn per year. This could provide a significant income boost for small businesses at a time when their operating costs are rising by the week.


Liz Barclay, Small Business Commissioner, said: “Small businesses need to know when they will be paid to give them the confidence to invest in training, recruitment, growth. They need to be paid quickly so that they can manage their cashflow without having to borrow to fill any gaps. Borrowing is costly and increasingly difficult. If bigger business customers want their smaller suppliers to survive, they need to work together and pay fast and fair”.


Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said: “Prompt payment practices strengthen the resilience of businesses throughout the supply chain at an especially challenging time for the economy. Faster payment to small businesses also aids better cashflow and business planning.”


Paul Slevin, President of Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid said, “Small businesses are facing a number of operational challenges as they look to build resilience in a disrupted market. The support of the Commissioner in reducing payment issues is welcome to help ease financial burdens on companies”.


Lloyd Powell, Head of ACCA Cymru/Wales said: “We are very pleased that the Commissioner can join us to discuss a range of issues facing small businesses here in Wales. The focus on tackling late payments is most welcome, given the huge impact that this can have on the financial health of small firms”.


Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said: “The Federation of Small Businesses is pleased to be a part of the cohort welcoming the Small Business Commissioner to Wales. As costs continue to rise, the crisis of late payments is intensifying for small businesses, who are already facing a host of post-pandemic challenges. Both UK and Welsh Governments must work collaboratively and constructively together in the interests of small businesses”