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Small Businessman of the Week: Factoring in a speedier cash flow for small companies

Anil Stocker is director of MarketInvoice, which was set up a year ago to provide an alternative to traditional factoring services. It offers SMEs the opportunity to auction off outstanding invoices to investors, improving their cash flow

"What small business owners are missing right now isn't necessarily equity or debt: in fact, many of them are caught in a double credit crunch – their banks are reducing their overdrafts, which is leaving them short of working capital to pay their own suppliers, and their blue-chip clients, which are feeling the squeeze too, are paying their invoices later and later.

"This problem is difficult to address, because we now have integrated, global supply chains, where every link in the chain is coming under pressure – unfortunately, the more scale and size you have as an organisation, the greater your clout, and smaller businesses suffer disproportionately from late payments."