The Government has announced that Paul Uppal has been appointed to the newly-established post of Small Business Commissioner.
As Commissioner, Mr Uppal will lead an independent office tasked with empowering small businesses. The role will be crucial to supporting small businesses resolve disputes with larger businesses and will help drive a culture change in payment practices.
Mr Uppal and his team will provide general advice and information to small businesses on matters such as resolving disputes, including signposting small businesses to existing support and dispute resolution services, which will be delivered through the commissioner’s website. His priorities will reflect his 20-year experience as a small business owner in the real estate sector, where he saw how even sound businesses could struggle when faced with a culture of late payment by customers.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the appointment, describing the new position as ‘much-needed’.
“There is far too much supply-chain bullying by big businesses,” explained Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman. “Their small suppliers are often messed around with lengthy delays in payments, underhand changes to contracts or forced to sign unfavourable agreements. Fifty thousand small businesses a year are killed off by late payments.”
“The hard work now begins to make a real difference and address the billions of pounds owed to small businesses by large companies,” he added. “If successful, this could see the beginning of the end for Britain’s poor payment culture.”
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Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.