SMEs are waiting for up to £255 billion in late payments, with more than half owed money, a survey has found.
One in five (20 per cent) reported that they are owed more than £25,000 while almost one in 10 have more than £100,000 outstanding. It is estimated that more than 43,000 SMEs are owed more than £1 million.
Unsurprisingly, a large proportion – 41 per cent – said late payers placed a significant pressure on their cash flow.
Government must step in to help
Almost half think the government could be doing more to help combat the problem of late payment – with 49 per cent saying ministers aren’t doing enough.
Head of SME at Zurich, Jason Eatock, said: “We have been warned about a ‘cocktail of threats’ to the economy, and small businesses will need all the capital at their disposal to weather this potential storm.
“In an uncertain economic climate, it is imperative that SMEs receive the support and guidance they need to adequately address the central concerns threatening the viability of their businesses.”