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Business Links

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 27 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent progress he has made in evaluating the effectiveness of Business Link. (291954)

BIS works in partnership with regional development agencies (RDAs) to deliver Business Link services through a network of business advisers, and with HMRC to deliver a national helpline and an online portal at:

Customer satisfaction surveys and periodic evaluations are used routinely to assess the effectiveness of the service.

RDAs use monthly customer surveys and their own local evaluations to assess business benefits and monitor service provider contracts.

Serco, the website service provider, carries out a biannual survey of website users on behalf of HMRC, to assess the benefits of the site as well as regular monitoring of website use statistics.

Additionally, BIS is carrying out its own assessment of the Business Link delivered Heath Checks that were set up as part of Real Help for Businesses support package.

A full economic impact evaluation of Business Link was published in 2007 which showed the service was cost-effective. This is available on the BIS website.