A survey jointly conducted by two leading UK Debt Collection agencies has revealed the true extent of the effects of late payment on the nations local Small Business owners.
There has been a spike in late payments to Small Businesses across the UK as the economy continues to remain unstable in the post pandemic era.
The survey collaboratively done between leading Debt Collection Agencies Federal Management has revealed that 79% of the Small Business owners surveyed said their mental health suffered as a result of Business late payment. The majority of smallest businesses (less than 5 employees) said they are constantly worrying about not being paid at all.
Small Local Business owners are being exposed to stress, financial worries, insomnia, depression and have even seen personal relationships affected by the problems late payment is causing them. 41% of SME owners said that late payment had caused them issues outside of work.
More worryingly, the Local Small Business owners survey showed that a shocking 48% of Small Business owners are not sure whether their businesses will still be trading this time next year.
The survey also found that 66% of SME owners have already had to supplement their Small Businesses cash flow with the use of personal funds. This includes many that have had to re-mortgage their homes and cash in pension policies.
The true cost of Small Business late payment
The impact of Small Business late payment has never been more evident. Worsening morale amongst the UK’s SME community is leading to fear. Small Businesses are the engine room of the UK’s economy and the repercussions of Small Businesses closing is felt in local communities.
Despite the governments best efforts post covid, the spiralling numbers of businesses going bust continues. Economic uncertainly coupled with ever rising running costs is causing many Small Business owners to simply give up.
Leading Insolvency firm Begbies Traynor has warned that the number of firms in significant distress is worsening. They advised that 610,405 businesses are now rated as being in financial distress across the UK.
They also warned that Small Businesses in the UK are particularly vulnerable as they lack the financial reserves that larger companies do. Winding up petitions have more than doubled whilst Business CCJ’s are up 52% in what is certainly viewed as a stormy outlook for the UK’s economy and the local Small Business communities.
Some SME owners feeling powerless to act
Solving the short-term Small Business late payment crisis is essential. This is not just affecting B2B transaction, Small Businesses are owed money by private consumers for goods or services provided.
Chasing unpaid invoices and overdue accounts is time consuming, stressful and largely ineffective in many instances. The feeling that nothing can be done only worsens their mental states.
The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act and various government initiatives have done little to stem the tide of Britains late payment culture.
Marc Curtis-Smith, Managing Director of B2B Debt Collection specialists Federal Management said, “Every day we receive calls from beleaguered Small Business Owners at the end of their tether. People are deliberately not paying them and we totally understand their frustrations”
“The UK media tends to focus on those in debt as rarely spares a consideration for those on the other end of the spectrum; the people who are actually owed money and suffering the ramifications of such. It is entirely unjust and unfair. This is why we are so passionate Small Businesses by way of recovering debts where possible and as quickly as possible”
Damage caused by local Small Business late payments Previous surveys have also highlighted the unseen damage caused by late payments. A majority of small Business owners have advised that unpaid invoices have had a detrimental affect on their personal life as well as their work. The stress of small business late payments weighs heavily on their minds.
Small Business insolvencies have continued to increase and unless the tide is stemmed, the problem will not end anytime soon.