Task force to support Carillion-hit firms

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Meanwhile, at a meeting chaired on Thursday (18 January) by Government business secretary Greg Clark aiming to set up a taskforce to support small firms affected by Carillion's collapse, leading banks such as Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland pledged £125m of funding for businesses facing financial problems. Carillion's business practices are rightly under scrutiny, particularly on payment terms - this remains a serious issue across too many supply chains, and larger firms are uniquely placed to make a difference.

Banks had agreed to provide "tailored support" worth nearly £250m to those facing a hit from the failure of the company, which owed huge sums when it went into liquidation on Monday, he said.

Another sign of its support for the small business community, just last week, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking was named Startups.co.uk's second headline sponsor for Young Guns.

"It is only going to be a sticking plaster to help those who are viable to continue in business and recover in time", Mr Cherry told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

A Business Department spokesman said the group would "continue to support and monitor the impact on small businesses and employees who have been affected by Carillion's insolvency".

Carillion's collapse came after banks pulled the plug on the failing firm.

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And he called on the Government to give smaller businesses better access to contracts to deliver public services.

"By supporting our small business customers during this hard time, we hope we can help as many businesses as possible to get back on an even keel as quickly as possible".

"Theresa May exposed the failure of the outsource-first ideology at Prime Minister's Questions when she said the government was "a customer" not "the manager" of Carillion".

The Insolvency Service has contacted all of Carillion's private sector service customers, such as those working in facilities and management.

Earlier, building society Nationwide said it was safeguarding the jobs of 250 Carillion workers employed on services such as cleaning and security by taking their roles in-house.

The policy would see a Labour Government applying strict conditions to local authorities and Whitehall departments that would dramatically cut the use of private-sector contractors.

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