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Business: Government Assistance

Volume 490: debated on Friday 27 March 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department takes to ensure the co-ordination of its support for business with that provided by local councils and chambers of commerce. (255509)

[holding answer 9 February 2009]: In order to strengthen co-ordination of business support, we have introduced ‘Solutions for Business’—a streamlined portfolio of publicly funded support products. This has been delivered through the Business Support Simplification Programme (BSSP). The BSSP has been overseen by a board which includes the Local Government Association, business representative bodies, a range of Government Departments and regional development agencies (RDAs). This Department and the RDAs have worked very closely with local authorities and business groups to deliver this streamlined, co-ordinated offer to businesses.

The RDAs deliver this Department's business support and co-ordinate efforts to help business, bringing together regional and local partners, including local authorities and Chambers of Commerce, and the private sector. They also manage Business Link, the access route to all forms of business and skills support, including ‘Solutions for Business’. In each region Business Link works with local authorities and business representative groups, including Chambers of Commerce.