Late payments still a problem for small firms

Published:  06 July, 2011

LONDON: Late payment remains a serious problem for small firms, the Federation of Small Businesses has warned.

In a survey of 1772 members, it said 77% had been paid late in the past 12 months and that 56% had written off invoices worth between £1 and £9,999 because of non-payment.

"In the current economic climate, every penny counts and for small businesses a late invoice can mean not being able to pay their staff," the federation said.

Of those small firms that had been paid late in the past year, 77% had been hit by late payments from other companies, it says.

However, central government had improved the speed it paid small firms. This follows the government's commitment to pay all Whitehall invoices to small firms within 10 days under an initiative called the Prompt Payment Code.

The federation wants all public agencies to follow the lead of central government.

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