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Volume 518: debated on Thursday 18 November 2010

7. What plans he has to provide support for small and medium-sized enterprises in the next 12 months. (24727)

Among other actions, the Government are cutting corporation tax for small businesses, tackling red tape, helping home-based businesses and ensuring that small firms secure a greater proportion of Government contracts.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the recent Barclays business regional impact index shows that the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises in the north-west are looking to expand in the year ahead? Will he tell the House what steps he is taking to help those vitally important SMEs in regions such as the north-west?

As my hon. Friend will know from his own business experience, one of the best forms of help is business-to-business mentoring. That is why on Monday, to launch global entrepreneurship week, we announced a new national network of more than 40,000 experienced business mentors. That will make a real difference in Macclesfield and across the country.