Flintshire County Council accelerates over £18m in payments to support local, small businesses.
Flintshire County Council has paid over £18m early to local small and micro businesses, speeding up payments to businesses where cash is most urgently needed.
The ‘FreePay’ Programme, run in partnership with Oxygen Finance, has accelerated vital funds into the local economy to support small suppliers with their cash flow and boost growth.
Eligible, small, local, suppliers are automatically enrolled into the ‘FreePay’ programme. FreePay enables the Council to pay suppliers early without charge, supporting business growth and delivering social value.
Over 10,000 invoices have been paid early for free by the Council since the scheme’s launch and over 330 suppliers are now registered on the ‘FreePay’ programme. Payments are made in less than half the contracted time and over the last 3 months this has averaged 7 days.
Faster payment for free helps small suppliers with their cash flow and can reduce reliance on loans or overdraft facilities, at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is having a huge impact on local businesses and their employees.
Councillor Paul Johnson, Cabinet Member for Finance, welcomed the latest statistics and said: "We are proud to be able to offer early payment to our small and micro suppliers through this scheme. As the cost-of-living crisis puts more pressure on small businesses and their employees, FreePay will continue to accelerate cash to the businesses that need it most.”
It is estimated that 20% of small businesses have run in to cash flow problems due to late payments. Getting paid as early as possible provides significant benefits for both large and small companies and can make a substantial impact on the growth and development of businesses.
Larger businesses are also eligible to join the Council’s FastTrack programme. The programme, which is also provided by Oxygen Finance, applies a small, pre-agreed, rebate based on how quickly the payment is accelerated. The programme provides the council with additional funding to reinvest back into delivering essential local services.
Commenting on the FastTrack Programme, Councillor Johnson added: “The FastTrack Programme offers significant benefits to our suppliers with firms receiving payments efficiently and in much shorter timescales than the agreed terms. We encourage suppliers to sign up so that they too can get access to earlier payment and the advantages this brings.”
Working in partnership with the Council, Ben Jackson CEO of Oxygen Finance said: “We’re committed to the creation of social value and supporting councils to help their communities. It’s fantastic to see what Flintshire County Council has achieved and the difference that FastTrack and FreePay are making to suppliers and the local economy.”