Defining the role of the small business commissioner
SMEs should benefit from the introduction of a commissioner to champion their interests.
The role of the Small Business Commissioner was established by the Enterprise Act 2016 (the Act). The role is to support small businesses to resolve payment disputes and avoid future issues by encouraging a culture change in how businesses deal with each other. Their output is intended to be:
to publish and provide general advice and information to small businesses, for example, related to dispute resolution and contract principles, including options for resolving disputes
to direct small businesses to appropriate services, such as relevant sector ombudsmen or regulators, existing independent advice services or, for business-to-business disputes, to approved alternative dispute resolution providers
to provide an in-house complaints handling function, in respect of payment issues between a small business supplier and a larger business.
The consultation is open until 7 December. One of the key areas is making sure that the balance is right for small and large businesses while giving enough power to the Commissioner so the role has a purpose.