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Business Links

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 17th October 2011.

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Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what (a) face-to-face and (b) telephone business advice services he plans to make available following the closure of Business Link.

Photo of Mark Prisk Mark Prisk The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

We believe the role of Government is to create the conditions for business success and to enable businesses to find the information, guidance and advice that will help them to grow and create jobs. That is why we announced in January a series of significant changes to the way information, guidance and advice to business is provided, with more focus on improving small business performance and growth, and with a greater emphasis on further and better private sector provision.

The Business Link website: is being significantly enhanced and will continue to provide support to businesses to help them start up, improve and grow, providing a one stop shop for much of the advice sought by small businesses. Businesses tell us that they want to take advice from people they know and trust—experienced business people. That is why we have launched: a single easy to use search engine to access free and paid for mentoring services, including face-to-face mentoring). In addition, we have announced a new Business Coaching for Growth programme which will target around 10,000 companies with high growth potential, offering specific mentoring support and face to face coaching.

While will be the primary channel for business information and support, we are also providing a telephone helpline to help transition customers from the previous business support framework and to help those who do not have internet access and those who have difficulty finding the information they need on the website.

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