Prompt payment could be a major selling point for the North East, a top exponent of business ethics, Reverend Glyn Evans suggests.
The Newcastle-based clergyman, who provides chaplaincy services to business people in the city, said the region could market itself as an attractive base for businesses if more adhered to prompt payment.
Speaking in support of The Journal’s Pay Fair campaign, Mr Evans, who is a co-chair of the North East Institute of Ethics (NIBE), called for North East businesses to establish the ground rule that could set the region apart from competition.
He said: “In my experience providing chaplaincy to business, prompt payment stands out as one of the main factors affecting companies in a big way. This has got to be about building a community of businesses that trusts each other to pay on time.”
He added: “I think this could be a really big sales pitch for the region. All it would take is for the business community to put their heads together and agree to a code which could put us on the map as a great place to trade.”
Now a month into its launch, The Journal’s Pay Fair campaign is steadily gathering backing from many of the region’s businesses.
The campaign encourages businesses of all sizes to sign the Business Ethics Pledge created by the North East Institute of Business Ethics - with the aim to build fairness and prosperity in the regional supply chain.
Talking about his interaction with businesses, Mr Evans said the issue of prompt payment was not “black and white”, and highlighted the dilemma that many ethically sound businesses faced when cash flow restricted their ability to pay suppliers promptly.
He added: “In many cases, it’s about how you approach dilemmas in business. There are often a lot of issues at play, and it isn’t quite as black and white as being ethical or not, or about big companies versus small companies.
“However, it’s good for firms to behave ethically all of the time. If they find themselves in a bind and they’ve been prompt in the past - suppliers are more likely to support them in tricky situations.”
Set up in May 2013, NIBE acts as an independent regional resource that aims to place ethical behaviour at the heart of the North East’s business community.
To support the campaign and sign the pledge, visit http://www.nibe.org.uk/ .