Two-thirds of small firms face late payments during Covid crisis - FSB
Nearly two-thirds of small businesses have been hit by late or frozen payments during the coronavirus pandemic, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said on Monday.
A survey of more than 4,000 firms by the lobby group revealed that the public sector had been equally guilty of delaying payments as private companies.
The FSB called for a delayed review of the Prompt Payment Code to be implemented. It also demanded fines for repeat offenders and prompt payment to be made a precondition of state bailouts.
"Before the Covid-19 outbreak struck, many small firms were already under immense financial pressure because of late payments,” said FSB chairman Mike Cherry said.
"With cashflow drying up as the lockdown took hold, this situation has worsened. Sadly, some unscrupulous corporations are trying to inoculate themselves from the impacts of Covid-19 by withholding payments, or even freezing them, at the expense of small businesses.
"Worryingly, this behaviour isn't just confined to the private sector. Late payment is equally prevalent within government supply chains.