MP wins FSB’s Small Business Buddy award

A NORTH West MP has been named the inaugural winner of an award for  individuals who champion the cause of small firms.

Debbie Abrahams, the MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth was honoured by the Federation of Small Businesses.

The not-for-profit business support organisation launched the awards in September to publicly recognise those who work tirelessly for the good of the small business community at large, and who have helped make a difference for entrepreneurs across the region – and beyond.

The FSB selected Debbie from the first round of Business Buddy nominations thanks to her unstinting work to raise the issue of late payment of invoices, which has seen her chairing an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) examining the issue, and founding the ‘Be Fair – Pay on Time’ campaign.

Commenting on winning the award, the MP said: ““I’m really honoured to accept the first FSB Business Buddy award, and do so on behalf of everyone who has helped me with my Be Fair – Pay on Time campaign.

“The campaign was inspired by a Saddleworth constituent who told me how his small business was being squeezed by a huge, household name company that consistently paid him late. He couldn’t say anything or complain publicly because he feared losing the contract.  I researched the issue and was shocked to hear just how common this problem is for hard working small business owners, and not just locally, but across the country.”

Richard Gregg, the FSB’s regional chair in Manchester & North Cheshire, added: “Well done to Debbie – her work to end the disease of late payment, which blights so many small business owners, is commendable and highly valued by organisations such as ours.

“It is more than fitting that Debbie should win the very first FSB Business Buddy Award. Long may she continue to be the friend of small business.”

Late payment of invoices continues to be an issue for small business, with new research by Bacs suggesting £46bn of unpaid invoices wash around the UK supply chain at any one time. Late payment harms the cash flow of small businesses and creates lines of credit paid for the benefit of big businesses.