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Questions over government help for SMEs

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The level and nature of the support that the government offers SMEs has come under examination in a new study.

Entitled Access All Areas, and produced by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the study asks whether the government should be simply a point of access for SMEs that are looking for grants and funding or whether it should offer more direct forms of help.

Mark Stuart, head of research at the CIM, said that, while there is a range of information, grants, assistance and training available from government, many SMEs fail to take advantage.

Sometimes this is because the context in which the help is being delivered does not resonate with the business needs and requirements of SMEs.

Mr Stuart went on to point out that there is a further problem in treating SMEs as a single entity; in reality the needs of start-ups, micro-organisations and larger SMEs can differ significantly.

To reach those different businesses with their specific funding and training requirements may need to involve a more precise marketing and targeting of the information.