Government announces new measures to boost funding for small businesses

The Government is proposing new laws to help support businesses in combating unfair contracts, which can sometimes stop them raising money from unpaid invoices.

The new laws will make it easier for smaller businesses to access invoice finance, providing a long-term boost to the economy worth around £1 billion, it has been estimated.

The measures form part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to build an environment where small businesses can thrive.

Small Business Minister, Kelly Tolhurst, will put forward new laws in Parliament to arm small businesses against unfair contracts that will stop them from gathering funds from unpaid invoices.

Currently, a small supplier’s contract with a larger company may prevent them from securing invoice finance from providers such as banks and other investors.

These restrictive contract terms are often used by larger businesses to maintain a hold over their suppliers, with small suppliers often unable to negotiate changes to the proposed contract because they do not have enough power in the marketplace.

The new laws propose that any contractual restrictions entered into after 31 December 2018, with certain exceptions, will have no effect and will be disregarded by small businesses and finance provides, stopping larger firms from abusing their market position.

Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst, said: “The UK’s 5.7 million small businesses are the backbone of our economy and central to our modern Industrial Strategy, with more than 1,000 starting up every day.

“These new laws will give small businesses more access to the finance they need to succeed and will help ensure they have a level playing field from which to set fair contracts with the businesses they supply.”

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