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Forum welcomes Response on the Protection of Small Businesses when Purchasing Goods and Services PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 February 2016

The Forum welcomes the Government response to the Call for Evidence on the Protection of Small Businesses when Purchasing Goods and Services even though the response is to undertake further investigation before deciding if any further reforms are necessary. 

The Forum is concerned about a further delay on this issue, but the focus on improving awareness of what is already there is needed as is a focus by government on providing better support for small firms from regulators, where performance has been patchy. The government response does indicate that the focus should be on informing businesses of their rights and that part of this role will be undertaken by the Small Business Commissioner. It is however an opportunity missed as there are a number of key sectors, particularly financial products, where more support is needed and regulators have failed to pick up poor practice.

According to Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum of Private Business, "The last thing employers need is another regulator or tier of regulation. However there was a real opportunity here to extend the provision of rights enjoyed by micro businesses, such as the Financial Ombudsman Scheme, to all businesses with less that 50 employees. This would have increased the number of companies under the protection of such regulators by less than 5% but it would have helped enormously in dealing with the fact that the UK has the worst record in Europe of developing their micro businesses into larger companies."

"The idea that companies with a dozen individuals can negotiate effectively with larger suppliers simply because they have recruited a few additional employees is ludicrous, which is why the Forum offers it members access to specialist buying support services and uses its Hall of Shame to get a fair deal for small firms".

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