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"Late payment victims employing more than 250 people only had an average 12.3% of invoices paid late.
Bibby Financial Services West Midlands spokesperson Sharon Wiltshire said: "We identified late payment as a serious problem affecting the region's SMEs at the end of 2012 and it is worrying to see that the problem is still hampering plans for growth in 2013.
Charles Wilson, Managing Director of Lovetts says: "As the economic recovery continues to falter, Lovetts is seeing more businesses taking a harder line on late payment to protect themselves from the risk of bad debt.
Rapporteur Barbara Weiler (S&D, Germany) proposed equal treatment for private firms and public powers as far as penalties for late payment are concerned, marking a difference with the position of the European Commission and Council.
He said that all banks had been informed to accept bill payments without any late payment surcharge.
"But as a former small business owner, I know the huge impact a late payment can have on the ability of a small business to plan, invest and grow.
To deal with this issue of constant late payment, the UK Government has recently appointed a small business commissioner who can name and shame those who do not keep to the terms and conditions they have agreed with smaller firms.
Indeed, the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 ensures that businesses involved in a commercial contract can charge a statutory rate of interest of 8% over the Bank of England base rate on outstanding payments.
More than a quarter (27 percent) of the respondents said they are more likely to respond to a live contact regarding a late payment than even a restructuring or reduction of their debt (8 percent).
A recent survey shows that 94 percent of American businesses experience late payment by their customers and nearly half of all invoices were paid past the due date.* For SMBs who withstand millions of dollars in outstanding invoices, waiting to get paid makes it hard to cover costs and keep their businesses moving.