Strict new rules are needed on 30-day payment terms for SMEs in order to boost growth and exports, says Marco Forgione, Chief Executive of the creative communication association Eventia-IVCA.
Forgione (pictured), who is to speak this week at International Confex at Olympia London, made the plea to Government following a ‘frustrating’ meeting at the Bank of England.
Many Small and Medium Enterprises (so-called ‘SMEs’) currently often have to wait up to 90 days to get paid by larger companies and Forgione says this delay is stunting growth, hampering exports, and slowing our economic recovery.
Forgione, alongside other industry representatives, attended a “marathon meeting” last week with members of the Bank of England’s influential Monetary Policy Committee.
One senior executive at the talks described the atmosphere as “frustrating” and “full of passion”.
Forgione will appear alongside famous names during a panel discussion on the state of the UK economy at Confex on Thursday. The panel will be chaired by financial journalist Simon Jack and will feature Roger Bootle, one of the City’s leading economists, Julie Meyer, a leading champion for entrepreneurship in the UK and Europe (also formerly one of the BBC’s online Dragons from the Dragons’ Den series); and Dave Fishwick, who found fame on Channel 4’s hit show Bank of Dave.
“Many small businesses in Britain are having to wait up to 60-90 days to get paid. This creates a huge challenge for them, especially those companies in the creative industries,” Forgione said.
“In the past the Government has issued warm words with regard to the way in which organisations should treat their supply chain. But now we want action: I’m calling on Mr Osborne to help SMEs in the Budget by implementing clear, maximum payment terms of 30 days for large businesses working with their SMEs in the supply chain.
“We want the Chancellor to introduce strict new rules on payment terms, which will free up SMEs to invest and grow their businesses.”
A key area for growth, Forgione said, was exporting British talent overseas. “It’s our export market – exporting the UK’s expertise and creativity – which has the biggest potential to exploit the growing and emerging markets in the Far East, the Middle East, Central and South America, Africa and Russia,” he added.
Forgione said the 7 March meeting at the Bank had seen recognition that, as an industry sector, valued at over £40bn to the UK economy, the events industry is “a key player providing insight and economic success to the UK”.
”It was a marathon meeting, and there was passion being displayed, but also frustration that although we can see the potential, there isn’t the support there that there needs to be,” Forgione added.
More bold advice for the Government came from JJ Jackson, Director of Performing Artistes. “As sponsors of Confex, we’re delighted to be supporting the leading events industry show. This is the one time in the year when the whole industry comes together.
“Our events industry operates globally and is a bright spot of the UK economy. At Confex, we are hosting a panel discussion on the economy and UK business, looking ahead to the Budget and what Messrs Cameron, Cable and Osborne must now offer this flourishing industry.
“The economy needs a Budget which is planning for three to five years ahead, not an Election in 14 months’ time. It is high time politicians stopped focusing on electioneering and introduced some strong, practical measures to help companies in our sector, like cutting business taxes and bureaucracy.”
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