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Retail Trade

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what business support his Department makes available to the retail sector; what assessment he has made of future trends in demand for such services; and if he will make a statement. (229309)

Retail enterprises, both at start-up and when established, can access a wide range of BERR and other publicly funded business support products via Business Link. Business Link provides impartial information that helps customers diagnose their needs and identify solutions and support providers in the public and private sector. The service can be accessed through the website:

by telephone on 0845 6009006 or through the network of advisers based in England.

The Government announced on 22 October a package of further support to help small and medium sized businesses to bear the impact of the current global economic challenges, including free “Health Checks” for businesses through Business Link, and advice on financial management, cash flow and securing finance. Details of the full range of measures and how to access them can be obtained from Business Link.

The Department continually assesses the demand for its business support services and through the Business Support Simplification Programme aims to streamline publicly funded business support to make schemes targeted, focussed and measurable, so increasing take-up, impact and value for money.