asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he intends to make any changes in the advisory services provided by his Department to small businesses.
I do not at present plan any further changes to the advisory services provided by my Department tosmall businesses following those I announced on 27 March when I launched the new support for business package. Under this package all DTI support measures have been grouped under four headings in order to make it easier for firms to understand what is on offer. Business and technical advisory services are one of the headings in the package, and there are three main elements to these services. They are:
A change in the assistance available under the products and process consultancy heading is that the eligible firm size is now 1–500 employees for all the services available, which widens the scope for small and medium sized firms to benefit than was the case hitherto. Further details of the assistance available can be found in the Department's Support for Business pamphlet, a copy of which is being placed in the Library.
(1) Advice for small firms (2) Products and process consultancy (3) Grants for new technology feasibility studies