My rt. hon. friend, the Secretary of State 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 established the Carillion Taskforce to advise on the impact on small businesses and employees affected by Carillion insolvency. The Taskforce’s attendees included representatives from leading business bodies, the construction trade sector, unions, banks and government. This has already led to useful collaborations, in particular in relation to ensuring firms and employees have access to support from Government and the banks.
I have also met several times with leading business and construction trade bodies, representing Carillion’s sub-contractors, 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.
Following the Secretary of State and my meeting with the banks on Wednesday 17th January, they made public commitments to provide support to SMEs affected and 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/
On the 3rd February, the Government announced that through the British Business Bank, it will make available support of up to £100m to small businesses, through their delivery partners, using the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG); enabling lenders to extend credit to SMEs which, while viable, may have insufficient security to secure other credit lines to support their businesses at this time. Through this collaboration the UK government and the banks can continue to support small businesses with the appropriate finance.
The Secretary of State has written to all accredited EFG lenders to draw their attention to this additional support, and expects them to ensure that they are actively engaging with SME businesses so they can give them the support they need. Accredited EFG lenders are listed on the British Business Bank website at https://british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/supporting-business-loans-enterprise-finance-guarantee/efg-accredited-lenders/
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: