NI small businesses are being taken advantage of by late invoice payers

  • A new report by Lloyds Bank and the UK's Small Business Commissioner indicates that Northern Irish small businesses may be being taken advantage of by larger firms who consistently pay their invoices late.

    Northern Ireland's small business and start-up scene has grown at a huge rate in the past several years, but are small businesses in NI being harmed by larger firms? That's the finding of a new report by Lloyds Bank and the UK's Small Business Commissioner, who found that 34% of invoices issued by small businesses in Northern Ireland passed the 30 day mark without payment.

    The report analysed the practices of over 7,000 businesses across the UK and identified several regions in the UK in which large businesses routinely delay payments to smaller firms, with Northern Ireland being one of the worst offenders. Around 65% of large businesses in the UK routinely take over 30 days to make payment on invoices, and about 21% of large firms take over 50 days on average.

    There are concerns that large companies may be using late payments to effectively draw finances from their supply chains. By delaying all outgoing payments by over 30 days they effectively secure 30 days of funds for free, but this comes at the cost of depriving small businesses that are more vulnerable to cashflow problems. UK Small Business Commissioner Paul Uppal is considering recommending a traffic light system to warn small businesses of which large firms consistently delay payments.

    Source: Belfast Telegraph

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