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Small Businesses

Volume 972: debated on Monday 22 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many industrial concerns employing under 20 employees have been established since he assumed office; and what is the total number of such businesses today and what it was in April.

I regret that this information is not available. The Department is investigating the use of information derived from the administration of VAT to provide broad indications of "birth and deaths" of small firms in various sectors. But even if this data emerges it will not be possible to supply the sort of specific information requested.