A third of payments to small businesses are late and, if they were paid on time, it could boost the economy by an estimated £2.5 billion every year.
Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said:
"The UK is gripped by a poor payments crisis, over 30% of payments to small businesses are late and the average value of each payment is £6142. This not only impacts on the small business and the owner, it is damaging the wider economy."
It is now the job of Paul Uppal to tackle this problem after his appointment as Small Business Commissioner with the task of driving a culture change in payment practices to ensure small firms are treated fairly.
Based in Birmingham, Mr Uppal was appointed to the post on October 2017 but the complaint handling service at the heart of his role only went live last week (20 December).
Full details of how the service will operate can be found on the Commissioner's new website at http://bit.ly/2BLXwAe.
It invited small firms to "check, chase and choose" how to deal with unfair and late payments, that is: to check if the right information has been provided to the right people in order for an invoice to be paid; to chase effectively when a payment is overdue; and to choose how to take further action.
The last course of action includes the option of submitting a complaint to the Small Business Commissioner.
Mr Uppal said: "Having run my own small business for over 20 years I am well aware that integrity and trust are key to running and building a successful business. My mission is to help all small businesses nurture positive and lasting relationships with their customers that work in the best interests of both."