In its latest move to combat late payments to B2B suppliers, the U.K. has launched a website through which small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can file complaints about late-paying customers.
Reports in Startups.co.uk Wednesday (Dec. 20) said the service has gone live following the appointment of Paul Uppal to the position of small business commissioner earlier this year. The government created the role to address complaints among small businesses.
In addition to facilitating the filing of complaints, the website also provides guidance to SMBs that face challenges in getting paid. The commissioner advises small businesses to “check, chase and choose” — check that the right information was given, chase late payments and choose how to take action if delayed payments continue.
The U.K. has taken several steps to combat the issue of late payments, which, according to reports, has led to cash flow problems for 20 percent of the U.K.'s small businesses.
“Having run my own small business for over twenty years I am well aware that integrity and trust are key to running and building a successful business,” Uppal said in a statement. “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.”
According to small business minister Margot James, the value of outstanding invoices owed to small businesses has more than halved in the last five years.
“Today's Small Business Commissioner service will empower small businesses to take action if they are paid late,” James said in another statement, “potentially delivering a £2.5 billion [about $3.6 billion USD] annual boost to the economy.”