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ASBFEO slams COVID-19 excuse for delayed payments

Big businesses have been put on notice by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman after reports of a blowout in payment terms.

Bookkeeper Aidan Curtis 02 April 2020
— 1 minute read

ASBFEO Kate Carnell has said she was disappointed by reports that big businesses are using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to delay payments to small-business suppliers.

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Ms Carnell said it was vital large businesses paid their SME suppliers on time for the sake of both the small businesses and the national economy.

“Now is the time for big businesses to do the right thing and be a part of the solution in this very difficult period,” Ms Carnell said.

“Cash flow is always king for small businesses and never more so than now, particularly for small businesses struggling with the ripple effects of the coronavirus.

“That’s why it’s so important for big businesses to step up and pay on time or reduce payment times.”

According to Ms Carnell, aside from impacting the whole economy, the cash-flow problems caused by late payment times are the leading cause of insolvency for SMEs.

She said it was encouraging to see big businesses like Testra, BHP, Rio Tinto and Woolworths committing to faster payment times, and that “there’s no reason why others can’t adopt the same practices”.

Ms Carnell also encouraged any SMEs experiencing issues with payment times to contact the ASBFEO office for assistance.

ASBFEO slams COVID-19 excuse for delayed payments
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