Companies Partner with the U.S. Chamber to Launch the Prompt Pay Pledge, Promising to Pay Small Businesses Quicker

The companies — including Intuit, JPMorgan Chase, Alpha Technologies, Accion Opportunity Fund, and Vistage — joined the chamber to ask companies to speed up payments to their small business suppliers to help America’s small businesses manage their capital and maintain a healthy cash flow.

Several major U.S. companies have joined with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to launch a pledge to help small businesses during National Small Business Week.

The companies — including Intuit, JPMorgan Chase, Alpha Technologies, Accion Opportunity Fund, and Vistage — joined with the chamber to ask companies to pay their small business suppliers quicker to help America’s small businesses manage their capital and maintain a healthy cash flow, signing on for the Prompt Pay Pledge, the U.S. Chamber said.

“Our economy is an ecosystem, where large businesses depend on small businesses and vice versa—and those supplier networks support jobs and strengthen communities across the country,” Suzanne P. Clark, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “Our nation’s economic strength relies on the small suppliers whose hard work and entrepreneurial spirit keep supply chains functioning across every industry. We owe it to them to ensure they are paid promptly so they can invest, grow, and lift the entire economic ecosystem along with them.”

The companies signed on to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Prompt Pay Pledge that calls for companies to commit to paying small business suppliers quicker or offer private financing options, and to clearly communicate payment terms.

The chamber said the Prompt Pay Pledge kicks off a national initiative to encourage large businesses to do their part to ensure economic success for businesses of all sizes and to educate small business owners on how to establish and advocate for clear payment terms.

Cash flow and access to capital

Small businesses make up 99.9% of U.S. firms and account for the employment of nearly half of the American workforce, according to the chamber. It said that trillions of dollars are exchanged between large businesses and small businesses every year.

For large companies, every $1 billion in spending translates to an average of 3,000 suppliers, according to research by The Hackett Group.

“We are constantly working to deliver on our mission of powering prosperity which includes addressing cash flow and credit access for our supply chain partners that need it the most,” Emma Chontos, chief procurement officer of Intuit, said in a statement. “We know from serving 10 million small business customers that use Intuit’s products and services that our suppliers share significant pain points—healthy cash flow and access to capital. As a company that has been championing these issues, we are thrilled to see a growing movement of companies committed to doubling down on expedited payment to small and diverse suppliers.”

Ben Walter, CEO of Business Banking at Chase said the success of small business makes communities stronger.

“When small businesses are successful, the economy and our communities are stronger,” Walter said in a statement. “We know cash flow is an ongoing concern for small business owners and we’re proud to join this important effort to help small suppliers and vendors get paid quickly.”

The chamber said that stable cash flow for small suppliers allows them to run their business, pay their employees, and plan for future growth.

Large businesses paying small business suppliers faster strengthens their own supply chain as financially healthy suppliers can make improvements such as faster shipping and better materials and products, the chamber said.

‘A win-win for American Business’

According to the chamber, prompt payment is very important during periods in which interest rates are rising, as suppliers who are not paid are forced to finance the costs of goods and services in the interim.

It said that for customers who cannot offer faster terms, offering supply chain financing gives customers the opportunity to pay their bills later while providing suppliers with faster access to cash. 

“Based on 50 years in business, Alpha Technologies can clearly state that prompt settlements and timely payments of invoices are critically important to the health of American small businesses,” Fred Kaiser, chairman and CEO of Alpha Technologies, said in a statement.

Vistage CEO Sam Reese said the company is honored to be a part of the pledge.

“With more than 45,000 Vistage members across the globe, Vistage has a unique vantage point into SMB CEO challenges. This partnership with the Chamber of Commerce showcases our commitment to advocating for small businesses as the lifeblood of their local communities and the engines of economies around the world,” Reese said in a statement. “We see the vital importance of helping to remove barriers for small businesses so they can continue to make great decisions that benefit their companies, families and communities. The Prompt Pay Pledge is a win-win for American business.”

Natalie Kadds, a member of the U.S. Chamber board of director and chair of the chamber’s Small Business Council, said:

“It is essential to our small business operation that customers pay us promptly in return. We need the support of our larger business customers, and we know that they rely on us. The business community is an ecosystem and small businesses play an essential role in fueling economic growth.”

Ways to support small businesses

Companies interested in signing the Prompt Pay Pledge can learn more and take the pledge here.

The chamber said the Prompt Pay Pledge builds on its longstanding commitment to support and advocate for small businesses. The chamber said it works every day to give small businesses a big voice in Washington, connecting entrepreneurs and federal officials and advocating for policies that help them grow, rather than hold them back. 

The chamber’s Small Business Council is composed of 100 small business owners from across the country that steer its work in fighting for policies that keep Main Street businesses thriving, and it regularly visits Capitol Hill.

Since 2017, the chamber has partnered with MetLife to survey small businesses on a quarterly basis for the Small Business Index, which provides insights on current challenges and opportunities for small business that inform its advocacy in Congress.

The chamber’s small business platform CO—, helps nearly 20,000 businesses a day and had more than 6 million site visits last year alone. The chamber equips small businesses with the tools and insights they need to ensure their own resilience in the face of any challenge. 

To celebrate National Small Business Week, CO— will host a Small Business Day event at noon, CT, Thursday featuring small business leaders sharing expert advice and tips putting these strategies into action.

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