Entrepreneur named first Small Business Commissioner
Former MP and small business owner Paul Uppal has been appointed as the first Small Business Commissioner, with a mandate to tackle the late payment crisis and put a stop to big business bullying.
The Commissioner role, which was first proposed in the summer of 2015, will give small businesses the support they need to thrive in line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
As the first Commissioner, Mr Uppal will manage an independent with the objective of helping small businesses resolve disputes with larger firms and helping drive a cultural change in business payment practices.
The Small Business Commissioner will be the first port of call for contractors, freelancers and small business owners who think they are being strong-armed by much larger firms. The Commissioner’s website will signpost small firms to existing support and dispute resolution services.
The new Commissioner, a father-of-three with 20 years’ of small business experience in real estate, published some words of wisdom that will resonate with contractors and small business owners on his website.
His campaign website says: “Paul has run his own business, and in his time, has been his own builder, secretary, accountant, lawyer and cleaner.”
He continues: “Don’t ask anybody to do something for you, if you’re not prepared to do it yourself.”
On his appointment to the Small Business Commissioner post, Mr Uppal said: “Running your own business can be a very lonely experience and my priority will be ensuring small firms feel supported as well as helping to create an overall impression that business isn’t necessarily cut throat.
“In fact, successful businesses are built on integrity, entrepreneurial spirit and trusting relationships and I want to highlight that Britain can be the best place in the world for new entrepreneurs to establish and grow their own businesses.”
The 50 year old was made Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South West in 2010, before losing his seat to Labour in the 2015 general election.
Miles Grady, Director of Umbrella.co.uk said: “Large businesses who don’t pay on time, or in some cases don’t pay at all, are a big problem for contractors and small business owners.
“Self-employed people can spend a good portion of their time chasing invoices or locked in legal battles, trying to get what’s owed to them. I hope that Mr Uppal will be a figurehead for the cultural change that has to take place.”