17 Oct 2023
Platforms should commit to paying small businesses within a maximum of thirty days in line with the Prompt Payment Code, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The FSB has set out a range of proposals to protect small business owners who use online sales platforms to ensure that small firms can make the most of the opportunities of trading online.
The business group wants platforms to invest much more in systems to resolve issues for small businesses, including the provision of dedicated complaint and dispute handling resources where these do not already exist.
It also says the UK government should consider legislation to make it an offence for an individual to post a fake and malicious online review.
Finally, the FSB wants the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate the charging structures of retail platforms and the charging levels of accommodation and food delivery platforms to determine whether these are indicative of monopolistic or oligopolistic behaviour.
Tina McKenzie, the FSB's Policy Chair, said: 'Small firms are calling out for more to be done on issues like protection of their intellectual property, while platforms should commit to paying businesses as promptly as possible – a figure that would be a rounding error for a large e-commerce site could easily be the difference between survival or closure for a small firm.
'Making the relationship between small firms and online platforms as transparent and as stable as possible will ultimately benefit all parties.'