In a press release issued by the FSB following the news that Carillion had gone into liquidation, Cherry revealed he had written to the company last year to express concern at the introduction of 120 day payment terms for its suppliers. He now fears that small businesses could find themselves in an even worse position waiting for overdue payments as banks and other large debtors scramble to salvage what they can from the stricken giant.
“It is vital that Carillion’s small business suppliers are paid what they are owed, or some of those firms could themselves be put in jeopardy, putting even more jobs at risk besides those of Carillion’s own employees”.
“When the dust settles on this sorry saga, there is also a wider lesson to learn about the concentration of public contracts in the hands of a small number of very big businesses. Public procurement must be much more small-business friendly, in which it is easier for small firms to navigate the system and the Government should prioritise meeting its target of at least one third of taxpayer-funded contracts going to smaller firms.”