Big business 'can learn respect' from micro firms

27 October 2011

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27 October 2011 | Angeline Albert 

Campaigners are calling for big business to learn about good supplier relationships from the smallest firms because they are better at tackling late payment.

The Forum ofPrivate Business and TheBusiness Woman's Network, have joined forces to campaign for a ‘micro business day’ dedicated to recognising the economic importance of UK firms employing fewer than 10 staff. They are keen for larger companies to learn from small businesses’ relationships with their suppliers.

While the average late payment time for UK firms overall rose by almost one day to 26 days late in the third quarter of 2011, businesses with one or two staff limited their late payment rise to half a day - the smallest increase seen during the period.

According to research by Experian, the average additional delay beyond agreed terms paid by firms with six to 10 staff was slightly less than a day.

Mandie Holgate, of The Business Woman’s Network, said: “Micro business owners aim to respect their suppliers and customers, appreciating the critical impact cash flow has on small businesses. They also aim to work in unison and source locally, thereby supporting local economies and communities. This practice could benefit from being copied on a larger scale, again showcasing the ways in which micro businesses of the UK need to be turned to more as a resource for practical business solutions to see us through these tough times.”

Jane Bennett, head of campaigns at the FPB and an external representative on the House of Commons' All-Party ParliamentaryMicro Business Group, said: “The jobs that will drive economic growth are expected to be created in micro businesses so it is important that we place the political spotlight squarely on them and make sure it stays there.”

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