Rowen requests council help for small businesses

October 23, 2008 12:00 AM

Paul Rowen MP with Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg MP!Rochdale MP Paul Rowen has called on the Council to reduce the amount of time it takes to pay invoices from 30 to 10 days.

The change could help small businesses survive during the uncertain economic climate.

Mr Rowen was speaking after the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) revealed that the current credit crunch had already caused a devastating effect for many small businesses across the country.

Mr Rowen said: "The figures released by the FSB are extremely worrying. They show that the majority of small businesses have seen their operating costs increase whilst trade during the last year has significantly decreased. What small businesses need right now is a reduction in interest rates, from our banks, on any loans or overdrafts that they may have.

"It is vital that we look at what steps we as a Borough Council can be taking to help local businesses during this difficult time. One such step that I believe is essential to look at is the speeding up of the payment of invoices by our council to small businesses. This would help their cash flow immensely and make a real difference. I have put in a formal request to Councillor Couzens to look at reducing the current 30 day invoice payment time to 10 days."

Councillor Couzens said: "These startling figures show that the credit crunch is hitting the small business sector. In these tough times it is proving increasingly hard for smaller businesses to rely on their savings. I speak from first hand experience, and that is why it is so important for banks to be more willing to lend money and for larger firms to settle invoices on time.

"As a result of Paul Rowen's request, our council are looking at leading the way by speeding up the payment of invoices to small businesses from the current position of 30 days to a reduction of 10. I know this will have a knock on effect but I feel it is a price worth paying. I have asked the Council's Finance Department to prepare a report to look at the cash flow implications. Small business survival is integral to the well being of the borough's economy and this report will come to the next meeting of the Council's Cabinet."