04 Oct 2017The government has appointed the first Small Business Commissioner, who will seek to ‘empower small businesses in the UK’ and help to drive a change in payment practices. Paul Uppal, the new Commissioner, will be tasked with helping to resolve payment disputes between small businesses and larger companies. Mr Uppal will also assist small firms in accessing dispute resolution services and support. Commenting on the appointment, Business Secretary, Greg Clark, said: ‘Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing jobs and opportunities across the country. I am delighted to announce Paul Uppal as the first Small Business Commissioner. ‘His extensive experience as a small business owner makes him perfectly suited to champion the interests of small businesses and bring about a change in culture that will create a level playing field for everyone.’ Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the appointment, and also called for the new Commissioner to take urgent action in order to help resolve supply chain disputes. Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: ‘The hard work now begins to make a real difference and address the billions of pounds owed to small businesses by large companies. If successful, this could see the beginning of the end for Britain’s poor payment culture.’ The office of the Small Business Commissioner is expected to be operational by the end of this year.