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Government announces simplified business support service

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Businesses will find it easier and quicker to gain access to government support schemes under a new simplified system.

The Department for Business has announced that the design and rollout of Solutions for Business, its streamlined portfolio of business support products, is complete.

Some 3,000 schemes have been cut down to an initial 30.

For the first time all government help for business can be accessed mainly via Business Link.

The government said that Solutions for Business will make it easier for companies, small and large, new and existing, to find the right products to help them with common business issues such as getting started, growing, finance, export, skills, innovation and the environment.

It is estimated that, by targeting the support schemes more tightly, some £1.4 billion of value will be added to businesses each year.

John Wright, national chairman of the Federation of Small Business, added: “Small businesses do not want to be swamped by a range of different schemes and proposals that take too long to understand, let alone take advantage of. The FSB welcomes this streamlined set of solutions for business which, we hope, will make it more straightforward for small firms to get the help they need to get started, grow and expand.”

The CBI also welcomed the announcement.

Professor Russel Griggs, chairman of the CBI’s SME Council, commented: “We have been heavily involved in the development of this programme, so welcome this announcement by the government, which turns that development into a reality.

“This should make it easier for businesses to understand what support is available and make the most of the various government schemes, and is a good example of less is more. The government must now ensure that its business services are not only simple but also effective.”