The newly appointed Small Business Commissioner is to spearhead a national effort to crack down on late payment of invoices – which cause thousands of small businesses to close every year.
Former journalist Liz Barclay will be the first woman to hold the position, which was created in 2016 to help small businesses secure the payments owed to them and to galvanise UK businesses behind a new culture of prompt payment.
Over £23.4 billion is owed in outstanding invoices to UK businesses.
Barclay said: “We need a real culture change around business payments in the UK to take pressure off our phenomenal entrepreneurs. People who have already delivered goods and services have to be able to turn their attention to their next client and next order rather than chasing up late payments and worrying about their cashflow.
“I know from personal experience how damaging that can be to mental and emotional health. By working with businesses and ensuring their concerns are listened to, I hope to be able to deliver a payment regime that keeps cash flowing and works for everyone.
Barclay’s term as Small Business Commissioner will begin on 1 July when she replaces current interim Commissioner, Philip King.
Last year, the government consulted on new powers for the Commissioner, including the power to order payments, levy fines and open investigations based on third-party information. The responses to the consultation and further proposals will be published later this year.
Barclay is a small business and consumer affairs broadcaster. She works with boards and small businesses on improving governance, trust and culture, diversity, and understanding customer behaviour.
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