Isme calls for 'fair payment charter' to help small firms


Small businesses are in danger of “going to the wall” because of protracted and late payments from big firms and State agencies, business group Isme said yesterday.

The average payment period in Ireland for SMEs is 71 days, according to the group’s spring credit watch survey, with 40 per cent of the 610 companies that responded to the survey indicating that they were experiencing delays on payments of three months or more.

Isme chief executive Mark Fielding said the Government had recognised the problem of late payments in its Action Plan for Jobs, but little action had been taken.

It is calling on the Government to introduce a “fair payment charter” for all businesses, and insist that this be adhered to by companies seeking State contracts. It also wants State agencies to pay within 15 days.