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Small businesses owed £44bn in late payments

4 years 3 weeks ago #2026 by j.salmon@cpa.co.uk

As reported on page 57 of yesterday’s Independent, a survey by Zurich reveals 52% of Britain’s smallest businesses are owed £44.6bn in late payments between them.

More than a fifth (21%) are currently owed more than £25,000, while 9% are owed more than £100,000. Almost two-thirds (65%) thought late payments were forcing some businesses to close their doors, and nearly a quarter (24%) said late payments had caused them to dip into their overdraft in the past.

Meanwhile, supermarket suppliers are being underpaid “millions of pounds” every year by retailers, according to the UK’s Groceries Code Adjudicator. Speaking to BBC’s Wake Up To Money programme, Christine Tacon said many firms claim receiving only part of an order allows them to withhold payments due to suppliers. Supermarkets’ use of “predatory practices” helped drive more than 150 food producers out of business last year, according to research by Moore Stephens.

The Credit Protection Association says that this highlights the need for small businesses to take late payment seriously and seek assistance for experts.

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