Wait Off Campaign

BIGGEST BUSINESS GROUPS UNITE IN CALL TO TAKE THE ‘WAIT OFF’ SMEs

New alliance calls for faster payment drive to support small businesses as operating costs soar

  • The Small Business Commissioner joins leaders from 15 of the UK’s most influential business groups in calling for more action
  • Small businesses invited to share challenges and add their voices to the movement

Good Business Pays is spearheading an alliance involving the Small Business Commissioner and leaders from the UK’s biggest business groups including the Federation of Small Businesses, CBI, and BCC to stop slow payments from harming small businesses once and for all.

Launched today, the “Wait Off” campaign is backed by 16 of the UK’s most influential groups – representing a total of over half a million businesses in the UK – to up the ante in tackling the poor payment practices of big businesses across their respective industries. The campaign is also being backed by a number of UK businesses that support faster payments to small businesses.

The latest data from FSB suggests slow and unfair payment practices are threatening the future of almost half a million UK small businesses.

Whilst the challenges of slow payment have been well reported and become a focus for many campaigns over the last few years, the volume and variety of voices calling for change has left small businesses unclear where to show their support and therefore disengaged. The “Wait Off” campaign will create a consistent platform for groups and businesses to work together in achieving lasting change.

Terry Corby, Chair of Good Business Pays, commented: “Slow and late payments have been a problem ignored by many businesses for a long time, but with so many small businesses struggling with rising costs and inflation, it has never been more important to ensure cash flows smoothly and quickly throughout the supply chain.”

A study commissioned by Good Business Pays and carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), estimates that if small businesses’ invoices were paid on the day they were submitted, their revenues would increase by £40bn to £60bn per year. This could provide a significant income boost for small businesses at a time when their operating costs are rising by the week.

The list of those business groups backing the campaign is:

Institute of Directors; Federation of Small Businesses; The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed; Confederation of British Industry; Microbiz Matters; Liz Barclay – Small Business Commissioner; National Enterprise Network; Make UK; British Chambers of Commerce; Your business community; Yorkshire In Business; UK Finance; Chartered Institute of Credit Management; NEDonBoard; International Association of Book-keepers.

Corby continued: “No business should have to suffer because of payment delays. We’re delighted that Britain’s leading business groups are taking this issue seriously and helping to drive the culture change we need to see by supporting the campaign. I strongly encourage small business leaders to sign up to the campaign to share their own experiences of poor payment practices.”

FSB National Chair Martin McTague said: “FSB has led the charge against poor and late payments, and we are delighted as founder member of Good Business Pays to see this new campaign alliance formed. We now need the business community and the public’s help, to get large corporate brands paying promptly as part of accepted, normal, business practice. CEO’s are often unaware the company they lead are poor payers, which is why we are also seeking the new Audit Reform Bill to secure a whole Board approach to pay their supply chain, promptly – by empowering their Audit Committees to oversee payments to suppliers.”

The “Wait Off” campaign is calling on small businesses to sign up and add their voices to the movement. Small business leaders interested in lending their support can do so by texting paydontdelay to 60095 and sharing their thoughts and experiences of slow payment.

UK Small Business Commissioner, Liz Barclay said “I’m beyond delighted that small business organisations are so incensed about slow payments that they’ve got together to bring the problem to the top of the agenda. Waiting to be paid is a major cause of small business failure and of mental health problems. Together we can change the poor payment culture that’s been harming business and the economy for decades.”

The industry-wide initiative will combine a mix of digital advertising, social media, PR and lobbying of key stakeholders, including the government, to focus on the most important drivers in changing behaviour towards payments across UK businesses.

Our Supporters

“The Institute of Directors is delighted to support the Wait Off campaign. With businesses facing so many other pressures in the current economic climate, it is vital that suppliers are not having to also deal with the issue of slow and late payment practices.”
Jonathan Geldart
Director General of the Institute of Directors
Institute of Directors

“FSB has led the charge against poor and late payments, and we are delighted as founder member of Good Business Pays to see this new campaign alliance formed. We now need the business community and the public’s help, to get large corporate brands paying promptly as part of accepted, normal, business practice. CEO’s are often unaware the company they lead are poor payers, which is why we are also seeking the new Audit Reform Bill to secure a whole Board approach to pay their supply chain, promptly – by empowering their Audit Committees to oversee payments to suppliers.”

Martin McTague
FSB National Chair
Federation of Small Businesses

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed is supporting the Wait Off campaign

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed

“With so many SMEs still suffering from the impact of the pandemic and rising cost pressures, improving the payment landscape can have a real impact on the cost of doing business. Poor payment practices disproportionately affect smaller businesses and whilst many large businesses have stepped up following the pandemic to support their supply chain, there are still opportunities to do more. We look forward to working with our members and those involved in the campaign to support our SME community.”

John Foster
Director CBI Policy Unit
Confederation of British Industry
“We have been campaigning for over two decades for the Government to commit to only buy from, contract with, fund or license an organisation which can demonstrate its track record of #PayIn30Days or less for ALL its bills ALL the time. Most of the 5.7 million micro-business owners in the UK want to pay their suppliers immediately which is why we fully support this “Wait Off” campaign. Until many of the largest companies and sector leaders stop imposing 45 days to 120 days “take it or leave it” payment terms on their suppliers the fast payment culture to avoid debt and depression will not happen. The executives of these companies are paid monthly and that’s what we want to do.”
Tony Robinson OBE
Micro Business Champion, Co-Founder #MicroBizMatters & Chair Yorkshire in Business
Microbiz Matters

“I’m beyond delighted that small business organisations are so incensed about slow payments that they’ve got together to bring the problem to the top of the agenda. Waiting to be paid is a major cause of small business failure and of mental health problems. Together we can change the poor payment culture that’s been harming business and the economy for decades.”

Liz Barclay
Small Business Commissioner
UK Government

“Across the country, members of the National Enterprise Network are backing Good Business Pays, as they support countless micro businesses struggling due to the poor payment practices of larger firms. NEN and its Members are united in our efforts to advance the UK’s enterprise agenda; improving economic, social and environmental outcomes for micro enterprises, SMEs and local communities. NEN is committed to helping bring about the ‘cultural shift’ needed to give small businesses greater financial certainty. By putting an end to slow and late payments, Good Business Pays will empower more small businesses to create jobs, upskill their staff and become more sustainable.”

Carol Daniels
Operations Director
National Enterprise Network

“These last few years have tested the resilience of manufacturers across the UK who have undoubtedly stood up against each challenge they have come across time and time again. Each crisis has hampered business’ cashflow to a point where liquidity if often more scarce and limited. No less so because of late or longer payment terms which Make UK have found to have worsened in the last few years. These days manufacturers are waiting longer to receive payments on their goods and services which negatively impacts small businesses more. It is time to bring this issue to the forefront.

We are delighted to be working with Good Business Pays to raise awareness of the significant challenges that arise as a result of late payments across industry and get more businesses to adhere to prompt payment standards.”

Verity Davidge
Director of Policy
Make UK

“The British Chambers of Commerce is delighted to support the Wait Off campaign. It is vital that businesses receive payment promptly, particularly in these difficult economic times when cashflow is under pressure.”

British Chambers of Commerce

“We at YBC are proud to support the Wait Off campaign. Late payment is a huge problem for the whole economy and is a barrier to growth whether that be directly or indirectly. It stifles job creation and potentially leads to business failure.”

Ted Wigzell
Managing Director
Your Business Community

UK Finance supports the Wait Off campaign

UK Finance

“As small businesses across the UK continue to face increasing challenges, making sure that they are paid quickly for services delivered – not just within contractual terms, but as early as cash flow allows, has so many positive benefits across the economy. At CICM we are delighted to support the ‘Wait Off’ campaign – working with our members, clients and partners to champion practical approaches to good credit management.”

Sue Chapple FCICM
Chief Executive
Chartered Institute of Credit Management

“As a founding member of Good Business Pays, Previse is proud to be supporting the Wait Off campaign. Better payment practices will make a meaningful difference for businesses across the UK.”

Alan Marsh
Head of Sales and Marketing
Previse

“Boards of directors are ultimately responsible for the policies, practices and performance related to the payment of suppliers. Non-executive directors and board members should ensure that reasonable payment practices are in place with the company on which board they serve. Companies with a solid financial position can minimise potential liquidity issue within the supply chain by paying their small suppliers early. In doing so, they will deliver a tangible S in their ESG strategy and bring about positive societal change. NEDonBoard, the Institute of Board Members is supporting the Wait Off campaign”.

Elise Perraud
Chief Operations Officer
NEDonBoard, the Institute of Board Members

Go Cardless is supporting the Wait Off campaign

Linda Yang
Global Head of PR
Go Cardless

Mastercard supports the Wait Off campaign.

Mastercard

“The Good Business Pays, “Wait Off” campaign addresses a problem faced by many businesses, one that has grown over many years, that of late payment. It was an issue when “Wake up to money” launched on Radio 4 in the seventies and has been an issue for the Forum and its members since we formed in 1977. Late payment is now a cultural issue in the UK, where it seems to have become acceptable for some businesses to embed it into their payment practices without recognizing the deep damage it does to other businesses and individuals. Late payment impacts on cash flow, closes businesses down and damages peoples mental and physical health.

“So, there is a need to change the culture around late payment and that’s why the “Wait Off” campaign and the work of Good Business Pays is so important. Businesses need to make the change themselves and this campaign will help them to do that and show them why paying on time is such a huge benefit to the whole UK economy”

 

Ian Cass
Managing Director
BITC
Business In The Community

“The role of a financial professional in a small business is significant. As a membership organisation supporting accountants and bookkeepers the IAB recognises that late payment issues not only impact our members, many of whom are small business owners themselves, but the client base they represent within the small business community. We fully support the Wait Off Campaign to bring about faster payment initiatives and bring long-term stability and peace of mind to small businesses across the UK.”

Samantha Grant
Head of Business Development
International Association of Bookkeepers

“The late payment crisis is decimating SMEs with the value of overdue invoices increasing by over 20% in just one year. We’re delighted to support the Wait Off Campaign to encourage bigger businesses to pay on time and protect the cashflow of SMEs.

“Good Business Pays are doing a magnificent job of raising awareness of the late payment problem and we’re happy to be involved. Know-it was founded to help SMEs reduce debtor days and boost their cashflow so we welcome any opportunity where businesses will benefit from better payment practices.”

Lynne Darcey Quigley
Founder & CEO
Know-it

Saltare are supporting the Wait Off campaign

Saltare

“It is quite amazing that so many large businesses are trying to increase their reputation with sexy CSR/ESG projects and statements, and yet many of those same businesses adopt such poor payment practices. Responsible business means adopting core values at the heart of an organisation, and those core values mean genuinely caring about people and the environment. And caring about people includes caring about your small business suppliers and paying them within 30 days maximum. It is quite simple, really. You are not a responsible business if you don’t pay those small businesses in a timely fashion, and that potentially means the rest of your CSR proclamations are little more than hype.”

 

Jill Poet
CEO
Organisation for Responsible Businesses

Whether your are a large business, a representative organisation or a small business you can show your support for our campaign.

Visit our resources page where you can find information and assets that you can use to back the Wait Off campaign. And remember to send the SMS text paydontdelay to 60095 to add your voice to our campaign.