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2011 | Helen Gilbert
businesses are being overcharged to the tune of £3.6 billion by “greedy” suppliers,
according to a survey.
with fewer than 10 staff are paying up to three times more for goods and
services compared to larger companies, the research conducted by business-to-business
group buying website Huddlebuy
survey of more than 100 service providers - ranging from design and marketing firms
to office cleaning companies - showed small businesses were typically missing
out on discounts of more than 70 per cent or more due to reduced purchasing
power. Some small firms spent £1,825 more than necessary, while others forked
out £4,000, the findings showed.
professional services sector emerged the worst culprit overcharging small
companies by £1.4bn. Those providing construction services charged an extra
£830m, while the information and communication sector billed small businesses
£306m more over the year.
companies in London and the South East were particularly vulnerable and
overcharged by £1.3bn, the research found. Other regional hot spots include the
East of England (£390m) and the North West (£368m).
results of this research are simply shocking,” said Saurav Chopra, CEO of
Huddlebuy. “Small businesses fighting desperately to survive in harsh economic
times are being ripped off by greedy suppliers, while big businesses enjoy huge
savings from their favoured suppliers.”
spokesman for the Federation of SmallBusinesses said the issue of overcharging was “highly
relevant to general small business operations”.