Large firms were today accused of “exploiting” smaller companies by delaying invoice payments and imposing new fees on businesses.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) claimed that large organisations were “unashamedly” making small firms wait more than 100 days before settling bills, and often changed terms and conditions with little notice.
The federation said small firms were reluctant to charge interest on late payments, as they were entitled to, for fear of losing contracts.
FSB chairman John Wright said: “Big companies appear to be aware that small businesses are afraid of taking them on over payment terms and are abusing their power as a result.
“Making small businesses wait 105 days for payment and charging them for the privilege of doing so is nothing short of outrageous.
“At a time when small businesses are finding it difficult to deal with a slowing economy and rising costs, it is shocking that large companies think it is acceptable to use them as an unofficial source of credit.”