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  • Rikki Lambert

Pay up! Small business ombudsman attacks big business, some taking 120+ days to pay

Small business suppliers have to wait over 4 months for payment from 1 in 4 big businesses, analysis of Payment Times Reporting Regulator reveals.

The information reported by big business also reveals those operating in the manufacturing, retail trade and construction sectors have recorded the worst performance in paying their small business suppliers.

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson said:

“These figures are appalling. I say to the nation’s big businesses who are making small business wait four months to get paid, ‘you can’t be serious’.
“Good businesses pay. That's a vital part of business relationships.
“Big business must show leadership, respect and care for our small businesses and pay their bills on time. And for big business leaders urging support for small business ‘doing it tough’, a practical and achievable measure is to get serious about improving payment performance to small business.”

Hear the full interview with Bruce Billson on the Flow podcast player below:

Whilst the Business Council of Australia has a 30-day payment goal, the ASBFEO's analysis of data from 7000 businesses - many with a turnover of more than $100 million - revealed seven out of 10 big businesses failed to meet that target.

A breakdown of payment times shows:

  • 23% of big business take more than 120 days to pay their small business suppliers

  • 9% take between 61 and 90 days to pay

  • 37% take between 31 and 60 days to pay

  • 18% take between 21 and 30 days to pay

  • 13% pay their bills in fewer than 20 days.


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