Lack of faith in the services of the Small Business Commissioner (SBC) has led to delays in an appointment to the post. The government recently published new rules on what the commissioner would do when he or she was appointed. However, only 2% of small suppliers were impressed by the government’s announcement.
Micro-business owners are generally not aware of either what the SBC is or what the commissioner will do. According to a poll by FreeAgent, 57% of those questioned said that they had never heard of the SBC.
The ignorance about the SBC seems to confirm that the responses received as a result of the consultation on the SBC all came from one individual.
Figures show that bodies that represent businesses submitted more responses than the small businesses themselves, who submitted just seven responses.
Despite this, the government is now saying that it wants to receive comments about the criteria for registering complaints, which small traders should be allowed to call on the commissioner, and how the commissioner will handle complaints.
The role of the commissioner, which has been dubbed ‘the late payment tsar’, will be to support self-employed people and small businesses to resolve payment disputes.
It will deal with complaints about payment issues and provide advice and information, and direct small traders to existing services that can resolve payment disputes.
The government also said: “The SBC [will be able] to receive complaints on matters that occurred before the date the complaints scheme formally begins, 1 October 2017. This will broaden access to the complaints service and help the SBC build momentum.”