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Small Firms

Volume 113: debated on Monday 30 March 1987

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asked the Paymaster General what plans he has to encourage closer links between the small firms service, local enterprise agencies and other support organisations.

The Government encourage the small firms service, local enterprise agencies and other organisations to work together to form local networks which can provide a supportive environment in which small businesses can flourish. The small firms service has in fact long co-operated actively with LEAs and others in its role of assisting small companies.To demonstrate the positive advantages of even closer co-operation a new initiative is being undertaken in the Yorkshire and Humberside region from April this year. This will involve LEAs being offered extra counselling support for their clients from the small firms service. Prior to the start of the initiative, the small firms service's regional counselling team will be considerably reinforced and a firm of consultants will be engaged to provide independent monitoring of the initiative. The extra support provided to local enterprise agencies participating in the initiative will be in addition to any assistance they may receive under the Government's local enterprise agency grant scheme.