Sage: Big business needs to pay fair

Despite increased media and government attention, late payments remains a major challenge for small businesses today.

Research Sage conducted amongst small business owners in April and May revealed more than two thirds (68%) have to wait for 60 days or more for payment, and more than half are having to wait for over 90 days for money they have already earned.

Recent figures from government puts the amount owed at £26.8 billion, but we believe it is much higher. Our own study has put the figure closer to £55 billion.

The problem is amplified by the amount of time and money companies waste chasing late payments. It impacts growth, productivity and can ultimately put successful businesses at risk.

And the worst offenders? Big business.

Large firms should not use their size and resources to bully small suppliers. We think they need to set an example.

That’s why Sage has introduced 30 day payment terms for all its suppliers.

It’s also why we’ve launched The Late Payments Manifesto and an online petition, to serve as a rallying call to business owners and to give a voice to the millions of firms that are impacted by late payments each year.

“Large firms should not use their size and resources to bully small suppliers. We think they need to set an example”

Our manifesto is simple: Businesses should be paid within 30 days, and always, on time.

At the heart of Sage’s campaign is a deeply held belief that all companies, and in particular larger firms, should adhere to 30 day payment terms.

Seventy per cent of the owners we surveyed believe making big businesses commit to 30 days payment terms would have a direct positive impact upon their business.

If a FTSE100 company — the world’s third largest software firm — can introduce 30 day payment terms, in our eyes so can any business.

If you own or work for a small business, or know a family member or friend that does, Sage wants you to show your support by signing and sharing our online petition.

We think that many businesses have suffered in silence for too long, afraid that they will lose the custom of big businesses, but it is time to make a stand.

Businesses can sign the Sage petition, here or tweet using the hashtag #payin30days.

We each have a role to play in driving this change, but it starts with a signature. So as President of Sage Europe, I’m asking you to make a difference today.


Liked this? Read the joint article by CBI’s John Cridland and FSB’s Mike Cherry addressing prompt payment and other issues around the dynamic between big and small businesses

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