Small Businesses: Government Assistance

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 24th January 2018.

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Photo of Bill Esterson Bill Esterson Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support he plans to give to SMEs affected by the liquidation of Carillion.

Photo of Andrew Griffiths Andrew Griffiths Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

My rt. hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and I are working to ensure information is provided to SMEs in the Carillion supply chain in a timely manner.

The Secretary of State has chaired two meetings of a taskforce to advise on the impact on small businesses affected by the Carillion insolvency on 18 and 22 January. The taskforce’s attendees included representatives from leading business bodies, the construction trade sector, unions, banks and government.

In addition I have met leading business and construction trade bodies, representing Carillion’s sub-contractors, on 3 occasions in the last 10 days to understand the impact of Carillion’s insolvency on the supply chain, and agree actions that could be taken to mitigate this. It is our intention to continue to meet regularly with this group on an ongoing basis.

The Secretary of State and I met major high street lenders on 17 January 2018 to seek assurances that they will not penalise small businesses affected by Carillion’s liquidation. Lenders are contacting customers and, where appropriate, are putting in place emergency measures, including overdraft extensions, payment holidays and fee waivers to ensure those facing short term issues can be helped to stay on track. Details of these can be found at

https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/banks-offer-support-to-business-customers-impacted-by-carillion/.

The Department is providing a range of advice and support services for firms, delivered both nationally and locally available to SMEs affected by the insolvency of Carillion. These include a network of 38 Local Growth Hubs, run in conjunction with the Local Enterprise Partnership, to help businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to access support.

Information is published online by the Insolvency Service for employees, creditors and suppliers affected and seeking advice. In addition to providing current information, they provide a dedicated hotline for enquiries and contact numbers to other relevant organisations such as the Pensions Advisory Service, and the website PwC have been established to provide information.

These can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/carillion-declares-insolvency-information-for-employees-creditors-and-suppliers.

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