Late payment threatens survival of small business – Minister Breen

“Pay on Time” – Minister Breen urges businesses who pay their suppliers on time to sign up to the Prompt Payment Code

Minister Breen launches a public campaign to promote awareness of the “Prompt Payment Code”

28th February, 2017

The Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen, met with the Prompt Payment Code Stakeholders to discuss the importance of paying on time and launched a public campaign to promote awareness of the Prompt Payment Code (PPC) and encourage membership among businesses in Ireland.  

By signing up to the Code and displaying the PPC Seal received upon registration, businesses are sending out a clear signal to their suppliers, and any potential suppliers, that they pay their bills on time.  Signatories to the Code also commit to best practice by giving clear guidance to their suppliers on their payment and dispute resolution procedures and by encouraging adoption of the Code through their own supply chains.

As part of the Awareness Campaign a new PPC portal has been developed where, in addition to signing up to the Code, businesses can also find information and advice on prompt payment.  The new PPC portal which is maintained jointly by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Irish Institute of Credit Management (IICM) also contains a streamlined sign up process where businesses can now sign up to the Code in less than two minutes.    

Speaking at today’s campaign launch, Minister Breen said, “we all know how important cash flow certainty is for companies and, in particular, for SMEs.  It can mean the difference between staying in business and going under.  Few things can threaten the survival of a small business more than late payment.  It can affect its ability to pay bills, salaries and other operating expenses.

 While Government has already taken a number of steps to improve the payment culture in Ireland through the introduction of the prompt payment legislation and initiatives such as the 15 day prompt payment commitment, it has also led by example in supporting the PPC.  Departments and their Agencies have signed up to the Code.  I now urge more businesses in the private sector to follow suit and sign up.   If you pay on time why not let your suppliers, and indeed any potential suppliers, know that you are a prompt payer. The Prompt Payment Code is your initiative.  It now needs to be supported by you.”

Concluding, Minister Breen said: “ Paying on time is the right thing to do.  Signing up to the Prompt Payment Code and committing to do this is the right thing to do.  And I believe that if businesses do the right thing and sign up to the PPC, this important prompt payment initiative can make a real difference in addressing the culture of late payment in Ireland”

The PPC was developed by the main business representative bodies – ISME, SFA, Chambers Ireland and IBEC – with support from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, (BPFI), the IICM, Intrum Justitia, Credit Space and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, all of whom are here today at the launch to reiterate their ongoing support for the Code and advocate sign up amongst their members.

Also in attendance at the launch were Anne Heraty CEO of CPL Resources plc and President of IBEC and Eoin Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick Wholesale, both of whom are signatories to the Prompt Payment Code.  Both Ms. Heraty and Mr. Fitzpatrick provided video testimonials for the new PPC portal supporting the principles of the Code and setting out why they had signed up to it.  James McManus of Earth’s Edge, who also provided a video testimonial, was not available to attend the launch but sent his support .

Ms Heraty noted the importance of payment certainty saying that “it is critical for companies to be paid on time.  If my company is not paid on time, then I cannot pay my suppliers on time and there is a knock on effect for the whole supply chain.  I would recommend that all our clients and, as the President of IBEC, all members of IBEC, sign up to the Code”.  

Mr Fitzpatrick said that it’s a way of advertising to your suppliers that they will get their bills paid on time.  “It is good for our reputation and therefore good for our business”.

In his video testimonial, Mr. Mc Manus said: “Being a signatory to the Prompt Payment Code helps us develop trust and stronger relationships with our suppliers”.