The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) have released their latest Credit Watch Survey for the third quarter of 2016.
It shows that credit days have increased from 57 days to 61, an increase of four days. The Association expresses its concern at this increase, highlighting the negative impact payment delays can have on liquidity and working capital.
The main findings from 764 respondents in the first week of October included the fact that 24% of SMEs are experiencing delays of 3 months or more and 5% are waiting 120 days and over.
Late interest is charged by only 3% of SMEs and 18% are afraid to charge for late payments in case they lose custom.
Commenting on the report today, ISME Chief Executive, Neil McDonnell said, "Delays in payment especially by state agencies and big businesses are totally unacceptable. More needs to be done by this Government with regards prompt payments. The voluntary code launched by the Government in March 2015 is simply not working."
He added, "Evidence of its failure was highlighted most recently in a tender published by the Department of Jobs in July which had a low-take up in numbers. This situation, coupled with the lack of available and affordable credit from the bailed out banks, is slowing the recovery of many small businesses."