Bad debtors face name and shame

PUBLISHED: 09:17 15 March 2013 | UPDATED: 09:17 15 March 2013

Ian MacQueen, chairman of Exmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 8104-47-11AW

Ian MacQueen, chairman of Exmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 8104-47-11AW


Exmouth firms, which do not pay for goods on time and risk pushing suppliers into bankruptcy, should be named and shamed.

Both the chairman of the Exmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce and East Devon MP Hugo Swire have backed a government initiative to boost business by encouraging traders to sign up to the Prompt Payment Pledge.

There are hundreds of small businesses in Exmouth which rely on goods supplied from firms like building merchants.

But many delay settling their accounts for more than a month after they received their goods.

The pledge commits signatories to pay suppliers on time, give clear guidance to suppliers and to encourage good practice – and if they do not pay up within a reasonable time, they could be named and shamed.

The news has also been welcomed by other business groups, including the Federation of Small Businesses and the Forum of Private Business.

Ian MacQueen, chairman of the Exmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “I support this. Livelihoods are put at risk when people don’t pay on time.

“Normally, you pay within 30 days of receipt of goods. If you don’t, you can put firms at risk of insolvency.”

Hugo Swire said: “This is great news for small businesses, both in East Devon and more widely in Devon.

“Small business owners constantly tell me how vital prompt payment is – and this committed drive from Conservatives in Government will deliver long-term benefit for businesses up and down the country.”

Michael Fallon, business minister, said: “Late payment is a real issue for businesses across the country.

“It is not fair – poor cash flow can prevent small firms growing and even push them into insolvency.

“We need to improve the payment culture and I welcome the response of big businesses in signing up to the common sense principles in the Prompt Payment Code.”

“Now, I will be challenging other parts of the public sector to show their commitment to the principles of the code.”

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